Forest City Ratner would have Disney train Coliseum staffers

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano pushed back the Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano pushed back the deadline for a final decision on Nassau Coliseum until mid-August from July 15, giving the firms time to negotiate and execute contracts that will contain their final offers for the project. (Oct. 25, 2011) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Forest City Ratner Companies, a finalist along with the Madison Square Garden Company in the bidding to overhaul the Nassau Coliseum, has amended its proposal to say it will hire the Disney Institute to train all arena employees in customer service.

The Brooklyn-based developer has notified members of County Executive Edward Mangano's business advisory panel of its plans, Brett Yormark, chief executive of the Ratner-developed Barclays Center, said Tuesday.

Mangano is expected to name a developer for the Coliseum restoration by mid-August.

Forest City contracted with the Disney Institute, a professional development arm of the Walt Disney Company, to train some 2,000 employees at the Barclays Center when it opened last year, Yormark said.

"Sometimes customer service is overlooked, but it's certainly not that way with us . . . " Yormark said. "We think it's something the customers [on] Long Island will be happy about."

In a statement, MSG said the company "is renowned for delivering premier customer service in every venue we operate, and the Nassau Coliseum will be no different."

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Ratner has proposed a $229 million renovation of the Coliseum that would provide for 13,000 seats, with the ability to go down to 4,000 as needed. MSG, in partnership with The Cordish Companies, commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle and Uniondale developer Scott Rechler, has made a $250 million proposal for a 14,500-seat arena, which could go down to 1,700 seats.

The Dolan family

owns controlling interest in MSG and owns Cablevision, Newsday's parent company.

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