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Bayville firm bids on Coliseum redevelopment

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. (March

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. (March 13, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

A Bayville firm headed by the former operator of the Long Beach Ice Arena has pitched a proposal to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum and bring in a minor league hockey team and potentially other indoor sports.

Bernard Shereck, chief executive of New York Sports & Entertainment, confirmed Thursday that he is the fourth bidder on Nassau County's request for proposals to operate and redevelop the Uniondale arena.

Shereck is partnering with Global Spectrum, a Comcast subsidiary that manages stadiums such as Citizens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Center, both in Philadelphia.

The group plans to privately finance the renovation of the Coliseum, and reduce seating capacity from the current 16,000 to between 8,000 and 10,000 seats, Shereck said.

"It would be ideal for concerts, the Harlem Globetrotters and Cirque du Soleil," he said.

Shereck said he has had conversations with a minor hockey league that he said would bring a team to play at the Coliseum.

Shereck said two other sports leagues have expressed interest in the project, but declined to elaborate.

Shereck, 76, managed the 800-seat Long Beach Ice Arena for more than two years but was evicted by the city in 2009 for allegedly not paying $175,000 in rent, and for failing to attract a semiprofessional hockey team and restaurants to the arena.

Shereck countered that he invested more than $250,000 in the arena, repairing the facility, building a pro shop and developing programs. Shereck later sued the city but dropped the case before trial.

His group faces significant competition for the Coliseum project.

The other bidders are Bruce Ratner, who built the Barclays Center in Brooklyn; the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the Knicks and Rangers and Madison Square Garden, and Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld.

The Dolan family holds controlling interest in MSG, and owns Cablevision, Newsday's parent company.

Shereck concedes he is a long shot.

"I know what the odds look like," he said. "But, I figured it would be worth bidding."

Frank Russo Jr., senior vice president of business development for Global Spectrum, said the group's proposal envisions a renovated Coliseum that would host up to 150 events a year including hockey, college basketball, concerts, motor sports and professional wrestling.

The proposal includes adding an upper level concourse to the arena and creating wider seats.

County officials plan to select a winning bidder before July 15.

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