Nassau adds track facility to Coliseum plan

An aerial view of Nassau Coliseum

An aerial view of Nassau Coliseum Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

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If voters approve $400 million in borrowing for a new Nassau Coliseum, the county plans to use $5 million of the money to build a 90,000-square-foot multipurpose facility for track and field events and conventions, a top county official said.

The indoor facility, to be located behind the Omni Building on the Mitchel Field property, could attract high school, college and national track and field events, said Deputy County Executive Rob Walker.

The facility would include an artificial turf field and a six-lane track.

"It creates that whole entire destination for our residents and for Nassau County," Walker said of the proposed facility.

Walker said he has been in touch with the Island's division of U.S.A. Track & Field, the sport's national governing body. The region's president, Alex Cuozzo, said in a letter to Walker that he hopes to bring regional and national events -- including the U.S. Championship -- to the area. Cuozzo was unavailable for comment.

County Executive Edward Mangano is asking voters to approve the plan to borrow up to $400 million, mainly to construct a new Coliseum and a minor league ballpark. Officials have said they expect to use $350 million of the borrowing for the arena, but have noted that the ballpark should cost less than $50 million, leaving some funds for other development.

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Walker said the multipurpose facility was "always part of the potential plan," but that he only obtained cost figures and a commitment from track and field officials in recent weeks.

Placement of temporary flooring over the turf would allow the facility to be the site of expositions and conventions, he said.

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