Nassau Coliseum not an option for NYC migrants: Blakeman

Nassau Coliseum not an option for NYC migrants: Blakeman
Proposed plans call for the Nassau Coliseum to be transformed into an entertainment venue and casino. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said Thursday there are currently no plans to use the Nassau Coliseum to house migrants.

Blakeman, a Republican, was responding to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, a Democrat, who said Wednesday the arena in Uniondale should be considered for housing some of the thousands of migrants flocking to New York City. 

“New York City is doing more than its fair share,” Richards told the New York Post. “Unused or underutilized assets like Nassau Coliseum should be looked at by the state.”

The executive held a press conference with reporters in Mineola to fire back against the suggestion, saying the coliseum, which stands on a 72-acre, county-owned property in Uniondale, is not an option.

“We are not inviting immigrants and migrants into the county that are here from south of the border and not using the proper and normal channels,” Blakeman said, according to CBS News.

Almost 100,000 migrants have arrived in New York City since last August seeking asylum, according to the New York City Department of Social Services. Over 58,000 migrants remain in the city’s shelters.

Earlier this month, the Creedmore Psychiatric Center in Queens opened up as a ‘tent city’ for migrants, which has been faced with multiple protests.

The migrant issue has led to a clash between New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul, with Adams calling for an executive order earlier this week to prohibit local municipalities from preventing migrant housing.

In response to Adams’ request for the state to intervene in the migrant situation, Faith Gay, counsel for Hochul, said the state has supplied plenty of resources thus far.

“The state has provided a broad range of support to the city,” the 12-page memo, obtained by The New York Times, said. “The governor has declared a State Disaster Emergency and issued an executive order to support the city’s need for legal and regulatory flexibility. The state has directed significant state funds to the city. The state has made numerous state-owned properties available for the city to house migrants.”

The arena previously was the home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, who moved to UBS Arena in Belmont in 2021. Earlier this year, the county Legislature approved a 99-year lease of the property to Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands, which is planning to build a casino and resort on the site. 

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here