Nassau Coliseum leaseholder Nick Mastroianni touts “pent-up demand” for events, but boost may be temporary

Tri-State /
Dec.December 31, 2020 02:30 PM
Nassau Coliseum and Nick Mastroianni (Getty)

Nassau Coliseum and Nick Mastroianni (Getty)

Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum can expect to see a surge in event bookings in late 2021, but that may be short-lived.

The Uniondale arena — where the NHL’s New York Islanders also played — shuttered because of Covid in June. In August, EB-5 developer Nick Mastroianni was approved to take over as the leaseholder from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment. Onexim had $100 million in loan obligations on the property.

This week, Mastroianni touted the “pent-up demand for a return to normalcy, which includes live events, shows, etc.,” Newsday reported.

But a new report shows that the boost the Coliseum will see when concerts return late next year or early 2022 will be short-lived, according to Newsday, which obtained a copy of the document.

Stadiums and arenas nationwide have been clobbered by the pandemic, forced to close and cancel or reschedule countless performances. Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and Barclays Center in Brooklyn have been among the local venues hit hardest.

The report from consulting firms Camoin Associates and RMG SportsVentures noted that the uptick in bookings when the Coliseum reopens would not last. The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency commissioned the report following concerns that the Coliseum would not be economically viable once the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park opens, Newsday reported.

Its authors called the Coliseum “a second-tier location for music concert tours, which would impact its prospects for a quick post-pandemic recovery.” The arena reopened in 2017 following a $180 million renovation before the pandemic-related shutdown in the spring.

IDA chairman Richard Kessel said the report showed that despite challenges ahead, the “the Coliseum has a future,” Newsday noted.

Over the summer, the IDA board narrowly approved Mastroianni — who is head of EB-5 regional center U.S. Immigration Fund of Jupiter, Florida — as the Coliseum’s new leaseholder, transferring tax breaks.

Mastroianni has been sued by dozens of EB-5 investors over projects for allegedly defrauding them. He has vigorously denied those charges. [Newsday] — Alexi Friedman


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