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Island of Opportunity

Nassau Coliseum
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum is shutting down. Onexim Sports and Entertainment operates the venue and is looking for investors to take over operations and its remaining debt.

The new investors would take on approximately $100 million in loans for the lease. The arena, once the permanent home of the New York Islanders, could also be surrendered to its lenders.

Onexim has been working on a $1.5 billion redevelopment project called Nassau Hub that would build out offices, housing, and retail on the 70 acres of parking lots around the arena. “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,” Onexim said.

Onexim is owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, the former Brooklyn Nets owner worth $11.5 billion. The company acquired full control of the Coliseum in 2018, and kept that stake when Prokhorov sold his interests in the Barclays Center and the Nets to Joe Tsai in August.

The Coliseum closed in 2015 for a $180 million renovation before reopening in 2017. It has been hosting approximately 200 events a year, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a dramatic strain on the venue’s finances. The Islanders had planned to play all home games during the 2020-21 season at the Coliseum while its new arena at Belmont Park is being built. Other tenants include the Nets’ G League team and the NLL’s New York Riptide.