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Nets team beats out Knicks team for Nassau Coliseum rehab

SHoP Architects

Nassau Country has selected Nassau Events Center, the Barclays Center/Forest City partnership that includes Nets owners Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov, to renovate the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. They beat out MSG. Under terms of the deal, the developers will spend nearly a quarter billion dollars to renovate the arena, reducing its capacity to 13,000 in the process and making it more amenable to concerts and family shows.

The decision further cements the relationship between Prokhorov and Ratner who share ownership of the Nets and Barclays Center ... and adds a new business, arena renovation, to their portfolio. In addition, SHoP, the Barclays Center architects, and Jay Z will play roles in the design and marketing/booking of the new Coliseum.

The deal will provide Nassau initially with a minimum of $4 million a year and $334 million over a 49-year period, officials told Newsday. Increased sales tax revenues would come on top of that.

The question now is how soon the rehab will begin. Under the terms of their lease with Nassau County, the Islanders can't move to Barclays Center until 2015. But it's doubtful either the county or Ratner team will want to wait that long to start the 15-month renovation. That opens the possibility of a negotiated exit, in much the way the Nets departed the Izod Center. Some reports have indicated that the Islanders could be in Brooklyn by 2014-15. The Nets/Barclays Center business side has already taken over business operations of the Islanders.

Some renovations will need to take at place Barclays to accommodate the Islanders. Some seating arrangements have been promised to raise the hockey capacity from 14,500 to 15,000 and new NHL locker rooms will have to be built. Word is that the Islanders locker room will be under sections 22 to 26 at Barclays.

Under terms of the deal, the Islanders will play six games, possibly a mix of preseason and regular season, at the renovated Coliseum, as well as one Nets preseason game. The Coliseum will be the home ice for an American Hockey League team.