life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, April 14, 2017

Your tax dollars at work

The Nassau Coliseum, built in the 1970's, is a sports arena and concert venue.  It was the original home of the NY Nets, back when they played in the ABA, before they joined the NBA.

And it was the home of the NY Islanders.  I was a student at Hofstra University, just down the road from the Coliseum, back in the day of the Stanley Cup Dynasty, and you could feel the excitement in the air.

And Billy Joel a/k/a Mr. Long Island did so many concerts at the Coliseum that they symbolically retired his "number" -- a banner up in the rafters, along with all the Islanders' banners, read "Billy Joel 69".  (Can't deny Long Islanders have a sense of humor....)

When the building got old, there was considerable political squabbling about how to renovate the facility (it's owned by Nassau County) and how much redevelopment should be done in the area around the facility  to create an entertainment hub. When the owner of the Islanders didn't get his way,  the Islanders opted to leave Long Island and go play at the Barclays Center in godforsaken Brooklyn.  It was, as they say in Yiddish, a shondah, an embarrassment of colossal proportions.  That abandonment killed the career of one local politician (ding, dong the witch is dead) and will likely kill the career of another, if he doesn't get indicted for bribery first. (I guess you  kind of figured out I'm not a fan ...)

Billy Joel did the last concert at the Coliseum  before it closed in 2015, and last week he did the very first concert in the newly renovated Coliseum.  (I wasn't able to get tickets for either concert, they sold out in a New York minute, and the prices on StubHub were astronomical.)

The reason I'm giving you a history of the Coliseum is because the county, and the local banking organization which now has the "naming rights" to the venue, decided to hold an open house last Saturday to show off the renovations.  A limited number of free tickets were distributed, and Drew and I were lucky enough to snag two tickets.

It was a fun afternoon. We got to sample some of the foods available at the venue, got a lot of swag from the corporate sponsors, and even got a brief backstage tour.

The building now looks like a giant spaceship:

 photo IMG_0433.jpg

The main floor is now set up for the Long Island Nets, a D League team.

 photo IMG_0442.jpg

My first "swag bag" of the day, a travel mug:

 photo IMG_0448.jpg

 photo IMG_0449.jpg

Free lunch!  Everyone got a voucher coupon, which could be redeemed for certain food items:

 photo IMG_0450.jpg

Two chicken fingers and a handful of fries.Very tasty.

Drew opted for a hot dog. Nathan's hot dogs, the best Long Island has to offer.

The best restaurants appear to be Roast (a sandwich shop, I frequent their location in Melville, it's near my office), Smokin' Al's (the best BBQ on Long Island),  and GreeKrave.

Inside the dressing rooms:

 photo IMG_0456.jpg

 photo IMG_0457.jpg

 photo IMG_0458.jpg

 photo IMG_0459.jpg

Baackstage hallway:

 photo IMG_0460.jpg

 photo IMG_0469.jpg

A locker room

 photo IMG_0462.jpg

The "green room"

 photo IMG_0465.jpg

Celebrities who have performed in the new arena are asked to sign the wall.

 photo IMG_0472.jpg

Who is that couple?

 photo IMG_0475.jpg

Billy still has a banner, albeit not as risque:

 photo IMG_0479.jpg

More tchotckas:

 photo IMG_0488.jpg

 photo IMG_0490.jpg

A pedometer from the Hospital For Special Surgery.

 photo IMG_0493.jpg

A beach ball:

 photo IMG_0487.jpg

A backpack:

 photo IMG_0483.jpg

In January 2017,  the management of the Barclays Center announced that they were looking to evict the Islanders due to poor attendance.  Well, duh, the fan base for the Islanders is on Long Island....

So the rumors are flying that the Islanders might actually come home to the Coliseum....

That would be nice.

You can read more about the Coliseum here.


peppylady (Dora) said...

The closes Coliseum is about 100 miles to me. In Spokane Washington and I would guess the population is about 200,000 (City of)
But in a few smaller community they have event center and there for rent. But I have question how much often there rent.
I had a few of Billy Joel cd's at one time...I always said at my funeral I'll have them play and sing..."Only Good Die Young"
Coffee is on

Liz A. said...

Ah, stadium politics. I know them well. That's why LA lost the football teams so long ago. And now we've got them back. For the moment...

Sally said...

Our stadium and coliseum have changed so much over the years. I don't drive at night any longer, in fact not much in daytime either. The traffic in that area horrendous. :)

Blog Archive

About Me