A recent opinion piece published on newsday.com mentions how Nassau Coliseum changed Long Island for the better, while the arena could have been managed better. The upshot of the article makes reference to creating new memories at the future Coliseum. Considering no professional or minor league franchises are on board, do they mean remembrances at the proposed mega-sized fishing store?
Talking out of both sides
The editorial staff at Newsday published a commentary on Jul.25, 2015, “Nassau Coliseum — checkered past, uncertain future,’” which raises important issues about where the arena has been and where the facility is headed. Though factually spot-on, the news group’s message seems mixed and ultimately a bit trite, as though they wanted to wrap everything up in a nice, neat bow.
Reminding its readers of the Islanders and Nets fabled past in Uniondale, Newsday also points out how the Coliseum has become “a deteriorating oval of concrete surrounded by a sea of asphalt.” The commentary further describes how families bonded at the historic venue, yet also cites “crowded concourses, lousy food and lengthy bathroom lines.” Well, which is it?
Retail customers may be able to create new recollections after the Coliseum is renovated – but not with the Islanders. Hockey fans will soon be trading in their four consecutive Stanley Cup wins for some fresh bait and tackle at the Bass Pro Shop. Somehow, it does not feel like an even exchange, at least for Islander loyalists and Coliseum goers. After all, this is Long Island, not Coney Island. Where do you think the name Islanders came from?
Newsday should have added a focus on specifics, like the NIMBYism and local politics surrounding the Coliseum and how those issues finally drove the Islanders away. Besides, why was the Coliseum allowed to languish for so long anyway? Why did all the ideas and plans for restoration of the arena always fall through?
A reputation for losing things
The greater good for one and all will not be realized when the Nassau Coliseum emerges from its redo in 2016. Newsday should have emphasized how a lack of leadership led to the downfall of the Coliseum and the loss of the Islanders and Nets. The list of places that have let two successful championship-winning professional sports teams pass through its coffers is short. That in itself seems to be self-explanatory.
Newsday has done an excellent job of calling attention to the Coliseum’s legacy, which has been controversial at times. For that, they are to be commended. But the Coliseum runs deep in the veins of county residents. Though “better planning” and “fewer disappointments” would be nice, when it comes to the powers that be and the Nassau Coliseum, nobody is really listening.