Las Vegas Sands lacks valid lease to operate coliseum, says judge

Las Vegas Sands lacks valid lease to operate coliseum, says judge
A rendering of the Las Vegas Sands' casino and entertainment venue proposal. (Rendering courtesy of Las Vegas Sands)

A state judge on Friday said Las Vegas Sands lacks a valid lease to operate the Nassau Coliseum and the land around it. This is the latest blow to the company’s plan to develop a resort and casino at the arena.

Nassau County granted Las Vegas Sands a 99-year-lease to operate the Coliseum. Sands paid Nassau Live Center LLC $241 million to take control of the Coliseum lease, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Friday’s ruling is a second win for Hofstra University, which sued Nassau County last April arguing that the county violated open meeting laws when it transferred the lease from the Coliseum’s former tenant, Nassau Live Center LLC, to Las Vegas Sands.

State Supreme Court Justice Sarika Kapoor ordered Nassau in November to redo the process of lease transferal and conduct an environmental review before considering a new lease. The county is appealing that ruling.

Nassau argued that Sands maintained leaseholder rights under their original private deal. The county moved forward with development in the Town of Hempstead to begin environmental and zoning reviews.

“The assignment of the original lease … is not a mere private transaction between nonparties,” wrote Kapoor in her decision. “The fact remains that the assigned lease has been terminated.” She said that any new lease agreement between Nassau County and Las Vegas Sands would need to comply with Open Meetings Law.

The Say NO to the Casino Civic Association said in a statement they were “not surprised at all” about Kapoor’s most recent ruling.

The association insisted that “her first ruling, back in November, made it abundantly clear that Nassau County violated both SEQRA [State Environmental Quality Review Act] and Open Meeting Laws during the land lease transfer process.”

The association accused Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman of “flagrantly” ignoring Kapoor’s ruling from November.

“We want confirmation from Mr. Blakeman and the County Legislature that any actions taken under the assumption that LVS controlled the lease will be immediately unwound,” the association’s statement continued. “We want reassurances that control of the Nassau HUB land and coliseum operations have been returned to Nassau Live Center.”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here