One day after voters soundly rejected a $400 million bond proposal to build an arena for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano called for private development proposals.
“The time is now to explore a new path for economic development opportunities and job growth at the site of Nassau Coliseum,” said Mangano, who issued a request for proposals and established a Friday deadline.
Last Monday, 57% of voters rejected a plan to finance an arena and minor league baseball park next to the site of the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with 30-year taxable general obligation bonds. The building opened the same year the Islanders began play, in 1972.
Opponents argued that the new arena would have left the financially strapped county with an additional $14 million of debt annually. A New York State-run board, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, is overseeing the county’s finances.
Without an arena, the team might relocate in 2015, when its lease on Long Island expires.
“Every time a door closes, another one will open,” Islanders owner Charles Wang said in a statement, declining specifics.