Las Vegas Sands proposed a plan to construct a privately-funded multibillion-dollar entertainment destination at the site of the Nassau Coliseum.
Officials from the casino and resort company said they entered into agreements to purchase the long-term lease of the area home to the Coliseum and, if approved, would be in control of up to 80 acres of property in Nassau.
Robert Goldstein, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, said Long Island has the makings of being a destination to showcase the company’s work to positively impact the community.
“Our company’s track record of driving significant economic benefits to the communities in which we operate and the meaningful relationships and partnerships we have created in each of those communities gives us a unique perspective on what it takes to develop transformative tourism destinations that positively impact the local community,” Goldstein said in a statement.
The $4 billion proposal includes a gambling casino, pending approval from the state, four and five-star hotel rooms, outdoor community areas and a “world-class live performance venue” that appropriately reflects the Coliseum’s history.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said he would not have been in support of simply proposing a casino, an idea that has failed on previous occasions in the county.
Sands officials also said the proposal for an entertainment destination would still move forward even if the state did not approve the casino.
Blakeman and a slew of other officials throughout Nassau encouraged others to keep an open mind when learning more about the project and to have community input presented so that the project would be beneficial to the county.
“I would be willing to sit down and negotiate concrete terms, but at this time it would be premature until the community weighs in on this proposal,” Blakeman said.
Kevan Abrahams, the Nassau County Legislature’s minority leader, said he has been in touch with some who oppose the idea of having a casino at the site of the Coliseum, but also expressed his interest in learning more about what Sands plans to do with the space.
“As this process unfolds during the next several months, it is imperative for Sands Resorts to conduct extensive community outreach and then incorporate the feedback they receive into their proposal,” Abrahams said. “I’ve heard from many residents that oppose the casino aspect, and although I agree with that sentiment based on past casino projects, it’s important to listen to everyone so we can move forward together with all perspectives in mind.”
Nassau County officials announced in 2020 that a deal was struck with Nassau Live Center LLC to take immediate control of the Coliseum as its new tenant.
Officials said the agreement with Mastroianni will allow the county to recoup the unpaid rent accrued over the past several years by the Coliseum’s former leaseholder, Mikhail Prokhorov.
Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, accrued more than $2 million of unpaid rent owed by his Nassau Events Center LLC.
The county issued a notice of default to Nassau Events Center LLC and its parent company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings, months before the deal to pay off $2 million in payments for the Coliseum and a surrounding 72 acres of land known as the Nassau Hub.