Visitors to the renovated Nassau Coliseum, set to reopen April 5 with a Billy Joel concert, will be able to pay for parking when they purchase a ticket to a concert or show, allowing them to enter parking lots in express lanes.
Nassau Events Center, which is spending $165 million to overhaul the Uniondale arena, announced Wednesday that it has selected Valley Stream-based Parking Systems to operate the Coliseum parking lot.
Patrons who purchase parking passes online will be able to enter lots in dedicated express lanes where staff will scan the pass. Customers who pay for parking the day of the event will for the first time be able to use credit cards, along with cash.
Brett Yormark, chief executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of NEC, said the changes will “minimize the wait time” and “make the process seamless.”
Parking Systems operates in more than 100 Long Island locations, including Green Acres Mall, Nassau University Medical Center and the new Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino in Islandia.
Traffic expert Sam Schwartz, also known as “Gridlock Sam,” will serve as a consultant during the Coliseum’s first month of operations. NEC declined to say how much it was paying Parking Systems or Schwartz.
Coliseum parking prices will vary based on the type of event, from $5 to $40, said Brooklyn Sports spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann.
Parking passes purchased online will have a 10 percent discount. In addition, a limited number of discounted passes will be available online for events where the parking price exceeds $20. Those discounted passes will cost $20.
Customers who purchased tickets to Billy Joel will receive an email Friday allowing them to buy prepaid parking. All other ticket holders will receive an email next week.
There will be four entrances to the arena’s parking lot — on Hempstead Turnpike, Charles Lindbergh Boulevard and at two locations two on Earl Ovington Boulevard.
The Coliseum’s 5,800-spot parking lot will open two hours before all events and tailgating will be limited to the area directly in front of or behind vehicles. Individual parking spots cannot be reserved.
Last October, state officials approved an $85 million grant for construction of two parking garages on the Coliseum property with a combined 3,400 spots. The garages are expected to free up 19 acres of land that could be used for housing or other development, said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.
NEC will pay Nassau 8 percent of all annual revenue generated at the arena — now known as Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank — and 12.75 percent of parking.
NEC’s lease with the county guarantees Nassau a minimum of $4.4 million in the first year and $334 million over 49 years.