Residents Divided Over New Nassau Coliseum Proposal

UNIONDALE, NY (CBSNewYork) — In an 11th hour push to get Nassau County residents to vote yes on a new coliseum, Brian Rosenberg of the Long Island Restaurant Association staged a pep rally for the cause at Lido Beach.

The $400 million referendum would include a new home for the New York Islanders, a new coliseum and a Minor League Baseball park on the 77-acre site where the current dilapidated Nassau Coliseum now stands.

“Is it perfect? There’s no such thing as perfect right now, especially in the county, but millions and millions of dollars in tax revenue would be lost if we sit back and keep debating,” Rosenberg said.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports: Rally Is Final Public Push For New Nassau Coliseum

Monday’s special election will decide the fate of the project. Voters will decide if the county should borrow $400 million for a new Nassau Coliseum and a minor-league baseball stadium.

Several polling locations have changed due to school construction. To find your polling place, click HERE.

Islanders’ owner Charles Wang says he’ll move the team without a new arena.

“I think we have to face the reality of the situation,” he said. “We don’t have a place to play anymore because come 2015, our lease expires. We have to have a place to play, so we’re out of options basically.”

Listen: Charles Wang’s full interview with Boomer & Carton

The upcoming vote has become a heated subject of debate among Nassau County residents and politicians.

“Nassau County is effectively bankrupt. They have too much debt. They can’t pay their bills. So it flies in the logic of them going to borrow $400 million to build a stadium,” said Clifford Sondock of the Land Use Institute.

The plan with interest would cost each homeowner about $58, though County Exec. Ed Mangano estimates it will cost homeowners $13.80, based on revenue sharing from sales, hotel and entertainment taxes, and the creation of more than 1,500 construction jobs and 3,040 permanent jobs.

“The best social program we can have is a private sector job opportunity, and that’s what we’re trying to create,” Mangano said.

Some voters aren’t buying it.

“I’m a resident in East Meadow, near the coliseum, love hockey, I don’t want to pay for it,” said resident Irwin Kahn.

“For the Island, for the people, not just for the team, for everybody I think it’s the best thing. We need to approve this,” said Amy Zaum of West Hempstead.

Even if the measure passes on Monday, the Nassau County legislature and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority still have to approve the new complex.

NIFA, which controls the county’s finances, says approving the project could result in a four percent property tax hike and put the county in conflict with the state’s new two percent property tax cap law.

Nassau officials argue that the cost of the project would be offset by the revenue generated by the facility.

To see a rendering of what the new stadium potentially could look like, CLICK HERE

What do you think of the Nassau Coliseum renovation vote? Sound off in the comments section below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. anthony c says:

    To everyone voting no. I ask you to do one of two things.
    1. Go chug a gallon of bleach
    2. Run head first into traffic

  2. Lee says:

    All articles on finance I read say NEVER to sign a contract if it has to be done right then and there or “you won’t get the same deal again”. A rush vote today, without all the facts available, is not my style. We could have saved the money from this special election and had the vote in November. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. And, even if the voters say, “yes”, we have no guarantee it will go further.

  3. bullett says:

    I say vote “NO”; if sports teams want and arena and/or a stadium, let them fund it on their own. Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill, especially if there is nothing to be gained from it on a individual basis. After all, how many people on L.I. are hockey fans?

  4. Steve H says:

    Citizens in other countries (like Canada) are as critical of their governments as Americans are. But unlike Americans, they do not criticize the importance of government itself or the fundamental role it plays in boosting the general welfare. They do not like to pay taxes, but they understand the necessity of taxes not only in building a public infrastructure but also in building a personal security infrastructure.

    This IS the fundamental problem in Nassau country right now.

    1. Mike Rotch says:

      So, move to Canada you hump!

  5. A says:

    Read my lips, “No new taxes.” for a project that will only get me more taxes. Never been to the place, don’t like hockey, even if I did what have the Islanders done in 25+ years, nothing. This is a project to make the rich richer and BTW the rich dont create jobs they hoard money.

    No vote for me and I will be voting, in fact this is the first vote I honestly am looking forward to in a long time.

    1. emmas says:

      The new Atlantic Yards arena makes the most sense and has access to Long Island Railroad. It would be a disadvantage to those on Long Island who are not connected to rail lines to Atlantic Ave./Flatbush Ave. For those that drive it would be a shlep.
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  6. Richie says:

    Vote No. Do the taxpayers of Nassau County really get anything from this. I dont think so. Will you get a few free tickets when events take place there.. No you wont. Let the big shots pay for this. Are’nt we already paying one of the higest taxes in the country…Vote No

  7. teetotaler says:

    Why should those who have no interest in the stadium be penalized with higher taxes? The jobs they are talking about could only be filled by construction union members. Wang never said he had a commitment to move the Islanders anywhere, only threats. There is no cap on the increased taxes. They can continue to be increased for reasons yet unknown,

  8. MCK says:

    I am voting YES! Just wait and see what a ghost town Hempstead, Uniondale and East Meadow become when the Coliseum closes! All those businesses on Hempstead Tpk. that depend on coliseum business will shut down over time. It’s not just for the Islanders…..all the other events that go on there! With a new coliseum maybe some headliners will come to the Island instead of always Madison Square Garden. Let’s not forget about the construction jobs and the jobs the coliseum will generate when it finally opens. Our taxes will go up to make up for the lost revenue once the coliseum closes!

    1. Lawn-Guy Land says:

      Hempstead became a ghost town back in 1956 when Roosevelt Field was converted from an airport to a shopping mall. In fact, the mall was put there for the specific purpose of killing commercial activity in Hempstead. Closing the Coliseum won’t change things.

  9. DanTe says:

    Every dirty pol here is talking up a storm on the “economic benefits” and how it’s “only $58” per year. Dirty pols hates to come clean with the truths. Truth: all economic studies done for the past 3 decades have shown no economic benefits resulting from any taxpayer funded sport stadiums. Truth: the bond is going to cost Nassau businesses thousands of dollars each per year. Yes, it’s somehow good economics to saddle businesses with even more taxes.

    And all this because some pols in Garden City didn’t like the fact that Wang wasn’t going to give them kickbacks when Wang originally proposed that he pay for it all out of his own pockets plus additional developments totaling $1 billion.

  10. Robert Cuillo says:

    You people make me sick…Wang only owns the Islanders…He cant be expected to pay for something he doesnt own…The town owns the land so Wang rents…He wants a nicer place to rent is all…Get you’re heads out of the sand already!!!

    VOTE YES or we all LOSE

    Wang has spend millions upon millions trying to build something on long island..

  11. NO PLACE HAS EVER BEEN BETTER OFF AFTER THEIR ONLY PRO TEAM LEAVES AND RECOGNIZED VENUE BECOMES OBSOLETE says:

    Don’t make a short-sighted mistake Nassau. You will regret losing the revenues and only pro sports team that distinguishes the Island. Some of these people just cannot comprehend or are simply naive. Charles Wang and the Islanders have made Nassau County money for as long as he has owned the team and long before that. Get it? The Islanders have made Nassau County Money! Take that away, plus the cost of repairs Charles pays for every year and you have politicians saying Wait what happened to our revenues?? Oops looks like we should have restored the coliseum and made a direct investment in our future. VOTE YES LIKE ANY BRIGHT ECONOMIC STUDENT WOULD.

    1. Lawn-Guy Land says:

      No place has ever been better off after spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on stadiums (construction and upkeep) that the team owners “promise” to pay back but DON’T.

  12. Bob M says:

    Definitely Voting Yes.! Too much common sense on the Yes side and nothing but sour grapes, miserable people, and lazy people who don;t want to look up all the facts on the no side. VOTE YES!!!!

  13. Cab Lucky says:

    Let the Islanders share with the arena with the Nets once the Barclays Center are being built that will end the problem.

    1. karlson says:

      Is there an ice hockey rink in the Barclays Center?

    2. Charles Lee says:

      Really? That would never happen.

  14. DanTe says:

    Wang had originally wanted to do all this development PLUS some more, all at His Own Expense to the tune of $1 billion +. But some stupid politician from Garden City apparently didn’t like the fact that she nor anyone else is going to get a kick back. So now it’s a “Good Thing’ to have the tax payers pay for it.

    1. karlson says:

      Hempstead, not Garden City.

  15. NY Chris says:

    VOTE YES!!!! Put some people to work! Let Wang eat most of the cost…if he don’t like that it let them ALL skate away. The Atlantic Yard project is for pro basketball and the Atlantic Yards are in Brooklyn. The Islanders belong on LI….the taxpayers should not bear the brunt of the cost

  16. jERRY says:

    ditto another Mangano smokescreen to TRY to defray his inability to control
    high taxes. It’s the unions union unions Ed wake up and show some guts!

  17. DONT CARE FOR HOCKEY says:

    MR. WANG TAKE THE ISLANDERS AND TAKE A WALK .U PAY OR LET THE NY ISLANDERS PAY FOR IT .WHY SHOULD WE PAY ITS NOT FAIR TO PEOPLE WHO DONT USE IT.MAKE A DEAL WITH NYC AND GO TO BROOKLYN. VOTE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. DONT CARE FOR HOCKEY says:

    MR. WANG TAKE THE ISLANDERS AND TAKE A WALK .U PAY OR LET THE NY ISLANDERS PAY FOR IT .WHY SHOULD WE PAY ITS NOT FAIR TO PEOPLE WHO DONT USE IT.MAKE A DEAL WITH NYC AND GO TO BROOKLYN.

  19. ace11 says:

    Vote No

    if people are stupid enough to vote Yes and spend there own tax dollars on this dumb project when a billionaire could pay for it..then thats whats wrong with this country

    and all this to save some idiotic hockey team in this economy

    1. Robert Cuillo says:

      People who vote no are the stupid ones… You’re taxes will pay for the $250,000,000 a year that the Coliseum and the Isles brings in every yr…Who do u think will make up the difference??Thats right! That money is used for things and you will pay for it with higher taxes….This is your chance to vote for a reason to pay taxes instead of just paying them anyway…At least your money will go to something positive…I cant believe you people are this naive and selfish

      1. karlson says:

        People have had it – they’re not stupid as you claim. Our taxes are too high. Once you process that concept, we can move on to the next issue which is the burden of retirees and high cost salaries are budget busters. If you know anything about taxes in Nassau County, nothing more has to be said.

  20. Dan Turdsky says:

    The new Atlantic Yards arena makes the most sense and has access to Long Island Railroad. It would be a disadvantage to those on Long Island who are not connected to rail lines to Atlantic Ave./Flatbush Ave. For those that drive it would be a shlep.

  21. ginny says:

    Like we really need higher property taxes which this money pit surely will result in-not to mention more congestion and traffic to the area

    1. Joeyd says:

      Which taxes do you think will go higher? the taxes after the new arena is built, or the taxes after the isles leave?

  22. paul says:

    Billionaire owners like J.Dolan and the Steinbrenners
    HAVE NOT PAID THEIR REAL ESTATE TAXES IN DECADES!!!
    AMAZING THE AMOUNT OF WELFARE THE RICH EXISTS
    AND TAXPAYERS DON”T BLINK.
    Dolan Threatened one time to Take the KNICKS and RANGERS
    SOMEWHERE ELSE.
    I SAY,
    DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YOU.
    BLACKMAILING NEW YORKERS.
    TODAY THEY USE THE SOUND BYTE , ‘JOB CREATORS’!
    TAX BREAKS FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS IS WHAT CREATES JOBS.
    PERIOD!!!
    VOTE NO!!!

  23. ConeyIslandBaby says:

    typo – Yeah, it’s because you have given it all away to Billionaires like Charles Wang.

  24. ConeyIslandBaby says:

    And people wonder why our country is so deep in debt. It’s not because we have been spending too much money on Middle Class people. It’s because we spend too much money on Corporate Welfare programs like this scam to give millions of dollars in free loans to this Billionaire Charles Wang. And then the Republicans will turn around and say we have to cut Social Security and Medicare because we don’t have enough money. Yeah, it’s because you have given it all way to Billionaires like Charles Wang.

  25. joemama says:

    Another boondogle over-budget project that will line the pockets for everyone except those that it matters to the most.

  26. BOB says:

    Vote NO

Comments are closed.

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