The Long Island Nets will play their last game of the season Saturday in Westchester, but as of Friday, their home is in Nassau County, not Brooklyn.
The overhauled Nassau Coliseum re-opened Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Uniondale. After a season at Barclays Center, where fans were only permitted at a handful of games, the D-League club will move to Nassau next season to an arena that can hold 13,500 fans. The Brooklyn Nets are also expected to play preseason games at the facility. The renovation took 20 months and cost $165 million and led the Islanders to move to Brooklyn.
Like Barclays, the arena —or specifically the arena lease— is owned by ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment, Mikhail Prokhorov’s holding company. ONEXIM reportedly owns 85 percent and Forest City Ratner the remaining 15 percent. It’s expected that, just as he did with Barclays and the Nets, Prokhorov will buy out Ratner in the near future.
While most of the ribbon-cutting was taken up by the ceremony, the Long Island Nets released a time-lapse video of workers laying down the Long Island Nets court for the first time.
Media also got a tour of the Long Island Nets locker room.
The opening highlights just how much Prokhorov has moved his assets from Moscow and Russia to New York and the U.S. Bloomberg News has reported that Prokhorov now has more assets in the U.S. than in Russia. Prokhorov has also moved from mining to sports and entertainment.
The Long Island Nets will play 24 regular season games at Nassau next season along with a preseason game vs. the Knicks’ D-League team. No word yet on where the D-Leaguers will train next season. When the Nets announced they were back in the D-League in 2015, then-GM Billy King said the team would likely train nearer Nassau Coliseum. The NBA and D-League teams trained at the HSS Training Center this season.
- Nassau Coliseum renovation photos and new venue sneak peek - David J. Criblez - Newsday
- Nassau Coliseum reopens after more than a year of reconstruction - Glenn Gamboa & Robert Brodsky - Newsday
- Nassau Coliseum reopens after reconstruction (Video) - Newsday
- Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum reopens after $165 million, 20-month-long renovation - Roshan Abraham & Larry McShane - New York Daily News