On Wed. May 11th flanked by both Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Islanders owner Charles Wang Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced plans to build a brand new Nassau Coliseum as well as a minor league ball park in the adjacent Mitchell Field territory.
Their plan is to seek a referendum from the Nassau County taxpayers in the neighborhood of 400 million dollars to pay for this. From what I have read 350 million would go toward a new coliseum where as 50 million would go toward a minor league ball park. The referendum will go up for a public vote on Monday August 1st and assuming it passes and NIFA, the group in control of Nassaus finances approves this then construction would start next June on a new Coliseum.
I know the first question everyone will have is how will this affect my taxes? Well according to Ed Mangano it will not cause them to go up. He repeatedly stated at the press conference this morning that intentions here are, “not to cost taxpayers a single dime.” The way that money will be paid back is through a revenue sharing agreement where Wang would give significant revenues from the Coliseum to the County also revenues from the minor league park as well as the Casino I believe would also go to the County. To learn more on this view the video of Wang on NHL live below.
Next question I am sure you all will have is what can I do to help? Well the biggest thing you can do is to vote in favor of the referendum and encourage friends and family who reside in Nassau County and are registered voters to vote in favor of this. Given the timing of the election hopefully a lot of the people who would’ve voted no will be on vacation.
The final question I am sure you all are wondering is what happens if this gets voted down. My gut feeling is that if this gets voted down then I think the Islanders will no longer call Uniondale home after the 2014/2015 NHL season. Again that is nothing more then my gut feeling, not confirmed by anyone or anything.
Now do I think it will pass?
On Tuesday when I first heard about this I was very pessimistic about it with the thoughts that it would never pass. However a little over a day later I am more optimistic about it however I am still nervous. Given the timing of the vote if played correctly by Ed Mangano and co. this could be a slam dunk vote. However if they leave people confused and believing mis-information then that will put this vote in jeopardy. All in all as long as Mangano and Kate and even Wang get out there and make sure residents know the truth about the plans and how will it effect them then I think it will pass. However if that or something along those lines doesn’t occur then all bets are off.