$350 Million Nassau Coliseum Plan [presser open thread]

Let's rebuild this thing.

To update this earlier thread with Newsday's new story on Ed Mangano's proposal for a new $350 million, 17,500-seat (for hockey) Nassau Coliseum, to be announced at a press conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning:

Nassau County wants voters to approve a referendum to borrow up to $400 million for a new arena that would keep the Islanders on Long Island through at least 2045 and also finance construction of a minor-league ballpark. Pending approval by the county legislature, the referendum would be set for Aug. 1 [...] If passed by voters, the plan would replace a failed $3.8-billion development proposal for county-owned land around the Nassau Coliseum . [...] The new plan also would shift a proposed Shinnecock Indian Nation casino from the Coliseum site to Belmont Park.

First thought: Oh no, another 30-year lease! We've been through those.

Second thought: So Aug. 1 is kind of a big deal for Isles fans then...

The Newsday story confirms Charles Wang is on board with the proposal, and the new [no doubt ingloriously sponsored] Coliseum would be built next to the current one, with construction beginning in Spring 2012, which is only coincidentally when ancient cultures projected hell would freeze over.

In addition to the referendum to voters, another huge wrinkle:

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which took control of the county's finances in January, would have to approve any bonding agreement to fund the construction. NIFA officials Tuesday would not comment. NIFA also would have to approve contracts of more than $50,000 related to the construction.

There Will Be Votes

Also from Newsday's report:

A simple majority of the 19-member county legislature would first vote to decide whether to put the referendum on the ballot. If the plan is approved by voters in August, the legislature would vote again, requiring 13 votes to approve the bonding.

Of note, Town of Hempstead supervisor Kate Murray is said to support the plan, which is a major reduction in scale from Charles Wang's Lighthouse Project proposal she opposed.

So Wednesday morning begins the formal public push for support of the plan, to be endorsed by business leaders, local pols and unions.

Will voters -- and the finance authority with control over County finances -- approve?


Live Presser at 11 a.m.

So all those details and more have been placed with Newsday. This morning begins the public show, with the press conference streamed live at the Islanders official site.

Watch, enjoy, and consider this our open thread for what comes next. (Looking for hockey talk? You can direct hockey discussion to this earlier thread.)

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