A new company is taking over the lease of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum after the prior tenant defaulted on payments when months of events were canceled amid the coronavirus shutdown.
Nassau Live Center, LLC, an affiliate of the Uniondale arena’s lander, US Immigration Fund, run by Florida-based developer Nick Mastroianni II, is taking the place of Nassau Events Center, LLC, a subsidiary of Onexim Sports & Entertainment, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. The news comes after the coliseum shuttered in June after NEC defaulted on $2.2 million in rent.
“This deal follows rigorous negotiations,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
The lease transfer avoids litigation to recover the rent that Onexim owes the county, which owns the coliseum. The deal also transfers NEC’s agreements with arena operator ASM to Nassau Live, ensuring the New York Islanders and Long Island Nets can play games at the coliseum, once New York State allows the reopening of large venues.
“We’ve made sure our Islanders can come home to Nassau for one final season at the Barn,” Curran said of the NHL team currently moving from the Brooklyn Barclays Center to a new arena in Elmont slated to open in October 2021.
The deal also ensures Nassau Live will replace NEC’s role in the county’s 2019 Development Plan Agreement with developer RXR Realty to redevelop the Nassau Hub, as the commercial district surrounding the coliseum is known.
As a part of the transition, the county granted Nassau Live a 60-day “standstill period” to fully prepare its plan for restarting coliseum operations, with the possibility of a 30-day extension. Nassau Live will also assume $100 million in debt NEC incurred to fund the coliseum’s renovation.