Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is closing Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum indefinitely, citing Covid-19.
Prokhorov’s company Onexim Sports and Entertainment operates the venue under a lease and is seeking investors to take it over, along with about $100 million in loan obligations, Bloomberg reported.
“The unforeseeable and unprecedented Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the operations of the Coliseum and its finances,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “While we still believe in the enormous long-term economic value of the Coliseum and the development of the surrounding land, we recognize that such value will be best realized by other parties.”
If investors don’t come forward, Onexim could surrender the Coliseum’s lease to its lenders.
Last year, Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai was reportedly in talks to buy the Coliseum and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center from Prokhorov.
The arena’s closure and Onexim’s shopping of its lease puts Nassau Hub, a development of the surrounding area with partner RXR Realty, on hold.
RXR’s chief executive Scott Rechler told Bloomberg he is “confident” that the parties that assume Onexim’s lease will want to move forward with the Hub project. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran echoed Rechler, saying that the project is now “even more critical to Nassau’s economic comeback.”
[Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson