The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, New York, has reopened after a $165 million renovation project.
Originally opened in 1972, the Coliseum has undergone a series of upgrades and is primed to host world-class sports and entertainment.
The Coliseum will be home to the Brooklyn Nets’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, and will also host a variety of events including concerts, family shows, sports and outdoor festivals.
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank was developed by Forest City Ratner Companies and designed by award-winning architecture firms SHoP Architects and Gensler.
On the exterior, SHoP Architects retained the strong massing of the arena while simultaneously transforming it with an intricate enclosure of 4,700 brushed aluminum fins. Each of the elements in this system varies slightly in profile and dimension to create a subtle flow that reflects the big skies of the flat Long Island landscape.
The materiality of the design evokes the area’s history as well—a reference to the Spirit of St. Louis, a single-seat plane flown by Charles Lindbergh, which departed at a nearby airfield for the first non-stop solo transatlantic flight in 1927.
Gensler’s design vision for the interior of the 416,000 square-foot-arena reimagined the event experience for guests, performers, and athletes alike while preserving the good “bones” of the building.
Guest enhancements include a new exterior glass storefront to infuse natural light into the refreshed concourse, a redesigned main entrance, all new seating, improved bowl circulation, and revamped bathrooms and concessions.
New amenity spaces for fans include an event level VIP Club and The Blue Moon Beer Garden. Behind the scenes, the venue’s Artist Quarters presented by Apollo Jets provides residential style living spaces for performers and talent management.
In addition to the design, the fan experience will also be enhanced with access to free high speed Wi-Fi, upgraded phone service for all major cellular carriers, and an enlarged high definition LED scoreboard.
Approximately 1,500 employees have been hired to work in the Coliseum, and have been trained by Disney Institute, the business advisory arm of The Walt Disney Company, to bring industry-best customer service to the venue.
Through its Long Island Taste program, the Coliseum will offer authentic food and beverages from local restaurants and vendors. The program is modeled after Brooklyn Taste of Barclays Center, and overseen by Levy Restaurants.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano said:
My administration is proud to have partnered with Nassau Events Center to jumpstart previous efforts to transform the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a world-class venue.
Together, we delivered a modern venue – at no cost to taxpayers – that makes all Long Islanders proud. From star-studded headliners to sporting events and the availability of local food options from some of your favorite local restaurants, the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank is sure to impress and will return a minimum $4.4 million to taxpayers every year.
Kevin S. Law, President & CEO of the Long Island Association, said:
The opening of the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank is a transformational development in Long Island’s history and we commend Forest City Ratner Companies, Nassau Events Center, and Nassau County for their efforts to create a first-class arena and destination center for the region.
Forty-five years ago, this building was named for and dedicated to American veterans,” said Frank Colon, a veteran of the United States Army. On behalf of those who have answered the call of their country, we thank you for rededicating the new Coliseum to those brave men and women who served. With this new arena, we will never forget them and we thank you for honoring their devotion and their sacrifice.