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Task Force Proposes New Ideas For Nassau Coliseum

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The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is seen from Chopper 880 - Uniondale, NY - Jul 27, 2011 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is seen from Chopper 880 – Uniondale, NY – Jul 27, 2011 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

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GARDEN CITY, NY (CBSNewYork) - A group of developers, business leaders and community planners is proposing a privately financed redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum and its surrounding 77-acre property.

WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall On The Story


The proposal comes after voters rejected an August referendum for a taxpayer-financed redevelopment.

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang did not immediately comment. Wang has said he may consider moving the team from the coliseum when his lease expires in 2015.

The task force proposal released Wednesday calls for a renovation of the existing coliseum and construction of an adjacent 6,800-car parking garage.

Nassau County legislator Wayne Wink told 1010 WINS on Wednesday that he wants to see all the details, but from what he has seen so far, he believes it is a “step in the right direction.”

“It requires little or no public investment and would…give us the end result of a Coliseum that not only meets the needs I believe of the Islanders, but would meet the county’s needs going forward without significant public investment,” Wink said.

The panel also said that a minor league baseball park remains a viable option. That was part of the proposal defeated by voters.

“We intend on actually building a structure around the existing Coliseum, so that it can continue to function. Our program would increase the height of the existing Coliseum. It would have an increase in seating from 15,000/16,000 to about 20,000/21,000,” task force member Fred Ippolito¬†told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.

The project is estimated to cost just under $347 million.

“We propose that it all be done with private money — that developers come in and build it,” Ippolito told 1010 WINS. “We will be doing a formal presentation to the county executive and the Town of Hempstead.”

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano released a statement Wednesday saying that he welcomes “input, ideas and vision of all those committed to the revitalization of the Nassau Coliseum site.”

“Everything is on the table as my administration continues to pursue these important goals,” the statement read.

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