Hundreds Gather In Mineola In Support Of Nassau Coliseum Plan

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Several hundred union members, construction workers and Islanders fans gathered to implore the Nassau County legislature to approve a plan to replace the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The legislature must decide whether to go ahead with a referendum to borrow $400 million to build the new hockey arena.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Pass The Plan!

Four-time Stanley Cup champion Butch Goring insisted that the Islanders are on the rise and said it’s time for the building to catch up.

Team owner Charles Wang told the crowd that the plan would keep the team on Long Island until 2045.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs With Comment From Ed Mangano

Even if the plan goes to a vote in August and  is approved it will face another hurdle – the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state watchdog group, will have to approve it as well.

The county, which is facing a $176 million budget deficit, is under the thumb of NIFA.

The Islanders hinted at leaving Nassau County when its contract expires in 2015 should a new Coliseum not be built.

What do you want to see happen to the Nassau Coliseum site? Sound off below…

More from Mona Rivera
  • ace11

    No way in hell this stupid arena gets built….

    If wang wants…let him pay for it

  • Joeyd

    Do you want to pay higher school and property taxes. because that’s what will happen if the isles leave and the area becomes empty.

  • steinway

    This isn’t just about a new arena for the Islanders. With or without the islanders, a new coliseum is needed. I won’t rehash what everyone knows about the current condition of the place. Long Island has a lot of people and need for a coliseum(the current would have to be replaced sometime). Gonna journey all the way to barclays center from suffolk county? This bond/pay back whatever has been done before in other places. No money from the taxpayers would go into this, supposedly. Its not just about the islanders.

  • tomcat

    if wang had suitors lining up around the country offering to build him an arena he would be long gone, the sad reality of the times are that NOW is NOT the time to build a new arena…our County is Not the Federal Govt , we can’t follow their lead and spend money we do not have on the hopes of future revenue….the NHL could face the same problems the NFL and NBA are facing, there can certainly be a work stoppage in the future…and unlike the NFL, the NHL will probably fold…what then?

    • orngfan

      the NHL will probably fold? wow you just lost all credibility in your post with that last sentence. classic. ignorance is bliss!

  • orngfan

    reading comprehension is a term that is lost on the majority of posters here. first things first, the nassau coliseum brings in close to 100 million dollars per year in sales tax revenues and direct employment for thousands of long islanders. cut out the coliseum nassau county losses thousands of jobs and millions of dollars worth of revenues. BUT I”M SURE YOU SCIENTISTS ON HERE HAVE A PLAN TO REPLACE THAT! secondly, the restaurants and bars around the coliseum that employ more people, guess what, they are out of work too. But i know that you have all planned for helping them. in what you may ask? I’m sure your precious tax dollars will go to that.

    how about building a new arena, new restaurants and new bars come to the area, employing more people. the hotel is used (rather than going to waste where more jobs can be lost), people are paying 10 dollars for parking which goes to pay back the bond, people are paying 10 dollars for beers that cost 50 cents and those revenues are going back to the bond, people are paying for tickets to concerts, people are staying out after and going to a bar and tipping a waitress.

    You all are such SMALL PICTURE viewers. There is more here than just a bond referendum and your precious tax dollars you fear will go to charles wang’s pocket directly which is 100% not the case.

    • Mike

      Bravooo, Thank you, I felt like I was in a one man battle for a few there, lol…..

  • gary

    this should be passed, no doubt about it.
    Nassau is a great place to live -keep it this way.

  • Nick

    So who’s the idiot savant that thinks it’s better for the taxpayers to pay $400 to build this thing when Wang had originally wanted to spend billion$ in construction out of his own pocket? I would like to know who’s the idiot that vetoed the original free plan.

    • D


      So who’s the idiot savant that thinks it’s better for the taxpayers to pay $400 to build this thing when Wang had originally wanted to spend billion$ in construction out of his own pocket? I would like to know who’s the idiot that vetoed the original free plan.

      That would your Town Of Hempstead Supervisor, Kate Murray.

  • Mike

    vinvent is ANOTHER cleless person who saw a headline and small print qnd thinks they know how it goes down…. 400 mill is BORROWED not GIVEN, BORROWED and it is all to be payed back and then some… to all you clueless people out there…. how else is Nassau county to get from out of that 178m deficit, it’s called making jobs, building something that concert goers want to go to… you keep going to msg, I want to go to nassau where I live and see those tax dollars and money that comes from that veniew help save the county, yet again, why would I want to throw out facts from all the reading I have done on the subject, when you read one paragraph…… I love an uniformed biased opinion….


    Wang is a self-serving Steinbrenner type. Why don’t you take your stupid hockey team and leave? Or put up the money yourself? Didn’t you buy up most of Oyster Bay?

    Nassau County is broke and you want to rob the taxpayers to pay for your bread and circus act? Get lost!

    If this is up to the legislature and they vote for a new coliseum they should all be impeached.

    • Mike

      You should do more reading….. the money is BORROWED and paid back… You should really ask nassau county for their records and see how they make money and WHO gives them the most in the county…. take away the islanders and the colliseum and see no jobs, etc increase…. you talk about the county being poor but do not realize the revitalization is needed to spark the economy? Funny how everyone see’s a $ sing , yet has no idea where and how the money comes back to pay itself 7 fold….. yes, deny them the 400 milll and lose out on MUCH more in long run from the money gererated form the event….


        Mike and the pro-new arena group keep on tilting towards the new jobs that will be generated by the restaurants etc. Don’t you realize there are already hotels and restaurants in the area? What do you call the Marriott? And those “NEW JOBS” you keep hawking – the coliseum jobs that only go to loyal party members. These jobs are all taken by the loyal faithful. You have to be a dues paying member to the Repubs to get a job at the coliseum or anything connected with it. How many new hotels and restaurants do you think a new arena can sustain? Most restaurants go out of business in the first year of operation. If you don’t believe me, take a ride to some of the shopping centers and look at all the vacant storefronts where there was once a restaurant.

        On the other hand, a solar panel or hybrid/electric vehicle development consortium would generate many more jobs and provide a solid enduring tax base. It would also demand restaurants and coffee shops that are nearby. In short, a manufacturing complex would support the local existing restaurants.

        Don’t neglect what Long Island has lost – we once had a thriving military contracting business that consisted of Grumman with a huge presence as the largest corporate employer. How do you replace Grumman and Sperry and the subcontract companies that worked for these giants? Not by building a new sports arena! How many ticket takers and parking lot attendants do you need for a Coliseum? I know you need a maintenance crew etc. But these people are already working at the old Coliseum – they would just move right over to the new arena. You will not create NEW JOBS with a new arena!

        If you establish an enterprise zone that is dedicated to the future and the concepts of developing alternate transportation with hybrid buses, trucks and cars or light rail, and perhaps a monorail system – that would speak to jobs and the future! And solar panel manufacturing is right in there with the future.

        To put your love of sports before the good of everybody that needs employment and training for the 21 century is self centered and more about you and every Islander fan than the public needs. Even a training center to graduate mechanics and engineers for hybrid technology would fit right into this enterprise zone. Most schools today are not preparing young people for the future.

        I’m sorry to say that a new sports arena is not thinking forward for the needs of the country. Not just Nassau and the towns surrounding the old Coliseum. There is a great need to develop alternate transportation as gasoline and diesel prices will continue to escalate out of control. Without alternate transportation there will be an empty parking lot in the present design for a new sports arena and new parking lots designed for the 20th century.

    • Tom

      I cant believe the idoits in here. If the colliseum is built that is money towards restaurants bars shopping malls. Construction workers will be employed small businesses will flourish. Hotels will be built. If the colliseum is not bulit you can stare at an empty parking lot with drug dealers and gangs hanging out there. no jobs just crime and flilth. the only reason i go to that area is to watch the islanders. all my family that lived on the island has left to go to florida. if you vote no that means that your voting for drug dealers and gangs to run wild. enjoy

  • Mike

    Felix, then you are not a LONG ISLANDER… if you had any clue as to how significant the arena is to long Island then you would think otherwise… no colliseum, you can say goodbye to all the youth in long island as well…. what do people have in long island to cheer about? why do we pay the highest taxes in almost THE WORLD…. what do we have to show for it…The Islanders and the colliseum is important to the revitalization of the area… but hey, you just think it’s an “arena” that brings the town and state NOTHING…. you should look over the proposed plan and see exactly what it costs you as a taxpayer NOTHING and then helps get your county out of its LARGE 178 deficit… but hey, again, why would I want facts and intelligence to fall onto seemingly uninformed eyes, as you are….

    • Vincent Ferrari

      Why can’t the Islanders borrow the money and build the casino? Why can’t they seek private investors?

      Why does the county have to do it for them?

      • Vincent Ferrari

        Not casino; arena. Sorry. Brainfart.

      • mike

        they ARE borrowing the money, from nassau county, the same place that gets money every time there is an event there.. THE ISLANDERS AND THE COLLISEUM bring in TONS of revenue to a county that needs it, if you take away the Islanders and the arena, you have a nice large empty lot that could have been gereating millions of dollars and thousands of JOBS…. but hey in this eceonomy, who needs jobs, they are plenty….



      Just because you like hockey doesn’t mean it is or can be the savior of the area of Hempstead/Uniondale and Nassau County. Hockey holds no future for the youth of the area. Hockey games and all events at sporting arenas and stadiums are priced so that most of the people who live nearby cannot afford to attend any events.

      What would make more sense to revitalize an area such as this or anywhere else in the Northeast is manufacturing. That would enable us to stop buying things from overseas that we no longer make locally. We need to stop the flow of money overseas. It’s bad enough that petrodollars flow out to terrorist nations that want to destroy us.

      A good idea would be a solar panel consortium. That would create jobs and provide a future for the youth in the area. Right now the money that will probably be spent to build this new Islanders complex is not going to benefit anybody directly except to provide entertainment to those who can afford it. On the other hand, the seed money that the legislature intends to steal from it’s taxpayers to provide entertainment to sports fans is shortsighted at best. It provides limited stimulus to the economy here in Nassau County.

      Manufacturing creates jobs on many levels and provides a tax base. The average factory job has gone overseas. We need to bring that back to the US.

      • Vincent Ferrari

        Thank you. Dear God, thank you.

        Someone is paying attention.

      • Mike

        This does not come down to just “Liking” a hockey team, thi comes down to what drives an area, your ideas are all great, I am not saying they are not, however this is not a proposal of your ideas, this a proposal of a stadium and what said stadium brings tot eh area in revenue as compared to the many businesses, etc that contribute little if anything at all. The colliseum is an eye soar, nobody wants to come here, concert goers hate it, etc. The “hub” has the potential to generate much more money then it already does. I was all for the original plan that had Mr Wang fixing up the entire area because it “seemed” like the money was coming from HIS pockets, I am never for tax payers PAYING for an arena, however the ongoing problem in this discussion is the money is being borrowed, not given, it is payed back in a few years and the town now reeps the benefits of being in a partnership with charles wang to have a profit split, etc… The economy needs SOMETHING, we all agree on that, again, not saying your ideas are not great, they are, however in the grand scheme of things, this is more realistic to what we as a “nation” are doing…. This construction will bring thousands of jobs to the area, as a Long Islander, more then an “islanders fan” that is what is important.

      • Rob

        It’s more than obvious that you are not a hockey fan, and ontop of that someone that enjoys going out and watching a local sports team (not to mention have a good time?) in general. By local I dont mean queens or NYC. I mean local -Long Island. Without the Islanders this Island has no identity in the professional sports sector. Regardless of how bad the team may have been in the past, it does not discredit the fact that these young kids are on the up and up and ready to really break through as a major contender with the indrtoduction of a few more pieces. This cannot happen without a new arena where free agents will want to come to and not have to be overpaid to be lured to. Yes a factory would help things greatly, but not in the middle of what should be a major area of social interaction and entertainment. Hofstra is right next door, and there is nothing better than having a professional sports team that can provide both safe entertainment, a grounds for social interaction with others, and young pro hockey players which can be amazing role models. In addition, do you really think that a manufacturing plant in the middle of nassau county would pass environmental screening? Seriously come on!!!

        In reference to your comment on overpriced tickets, it is easy to say that tickets should be a max of $80 for regular season games, but when an owner is loosing millions of dollars a year, it is understandable why tickets are not among the leagues lowest. Yet another solution to this would be building a new arena. The price of admission may be high at first, but as the team emerges as a contender and the building pays itself off and then some, the prices will be able to be lowered with good cause. Now I know that Charles Wang is a business man, but if there was a way for him to lower ticket prices and still make money off of the deal, I am sure he would. He has shown that he loves the island, the islanders, and their fans by pumping more and more money into this sinking ship every year. I truly believe that we need to finally back the guy and give this team and the area what it needs and deserves. After all, your daughter/son wont be able to go and see lady Gaga in a manufacturing plant now will they?

        Finally, this plan is not going to be what many of the naysayers say it is for. In the end it will be for more than just a Professional hockey team. It is a plan that can make or break and entire area and the country with which it resides in. Mark my words, that if this arena is not built or another plan is not put into action right away which calls for the construciton of a new arena, the Islanders will be sold, leave Long Island, and a domino effect will occur. The arena will become desolate, the surrounding stores will lose customers which will eventually cause them to cut staff and soonafter close shop, and on a wider scale, the county will begin to suffer from the lack of money that it not longer has from a revenue pump that is a sports arena. I hope this isnt what you have in mind, because if so we will really be in trouble. On a closing note, what do you think happens when people realize that they are not going to be able to acquire a job in the immedite area, which is adequate to support their family? They leave the Island.

  • Vincent Ferrari

    Okay wait a minute; the county is facing a $176 million dollar deficit and wants to borrow $400 million to build an arena for a professional sports team?

    How about…


  • Jonathan Rios

    I want it to be replaced with a new islanders arena, that is fan friendly and not ancient history like the coliseum is. The place is an eyesore and a dump. the islanders are on the rise and a new arena will put them over the top.

  • Felix Procacci

    If the union workers want it, tell them to put up the money to pay for it. I don’t want it, and I don’t want to pay for it.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live