UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is getting ready to rock.
Long Island native and resident Billy Joel will welcome back the venue on April 5, 2017, when it reopens for the first time after undergoing a major overhaul.
Joel played the venue’s final concert before it shut down for massive renovations in August 2015. Paul Simon joined him for a rendition of “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” and actor Kevin James also made an appearance during the three-hour show.
“Billy Joel is an international icon and a New York treasure, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the Nassau Coliseum to showcase the very best of Long Island,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “These renovations have taken this premier venue to new heights, and I know it will continue to serve as one of New York’s top entertainment destinations and a local economic engine for many years to come.”
“There’s no better performer suited to reopen the transformed Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum than Long Island’s own, Billy Joel,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. “Billy serves as an exciting reminder of entertainment our residents will enjoy at the Coliseum for generations to come.”
“It is an honor to welcome Billy Joel, the voice and pride of Long Island, home to the new Coliseum,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, who is overseeing the operations, programming, and marketing for the new venue. “The Coliseum is entering its final phase of construction, encompassing the implementation of the exterior façade, and will soon be ready to rock again. April 5 is a celebration for Long Island and its spectacular venue, which will revive the area as a vibrant entertainment market.”
This will be Joel’s 33rd show at the venue in Uniondale. The “Piano Man” holds the most sell-out performances at the Coliseum, which opened in 1972.
Elvis Presley performed at the Coliseum in both 1973 and 1975. He was also scheduled to be back on stage there in August 1977, but he passed away six days before the venue.
Other legends such as Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and U2 have all graced the stage. Springsteen played marathon sets during three shows at the stadium in 1980.
The arena has also served as home for the New York Islanders hockey team for 43 seasons. The team now calls Barclays Center home.