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Nassau Coliseum renovation plan gets a hearing Thursday

The public hearing in Mineola will focus on a $6 million state grant to renovate the arena for future Islanders games.

New York Islanders skate against the Philadelphia Flyers

New York Islanders skate against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 17, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

A public hearing is scheduled Thursday on the state-funded portion of an $8.5 million proposal to renovate NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum for future Islanders’ hockey games.

The meeting is from 4 to 7 p.m. in Nassau County’s legislative chambers, 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola, according to a public notice. It is hosted by the Empire State Development Corp., New York’s economic development agency, which last month approved a $6 million grant for the project. The remaining $2.5 million will be provided by the Islanders.

“The proposed improvements and enhancements at the Nassau Coliseum will bring the facility to NHL standards and allow the New York Islanders to return to Long Island three years ahead of schedule. We look forward to gathering public feedback on these investments,” said ESD spokeswoman Amy Varghese on Wednesday.

The upgrades would allow the Islanders to return to their former home in Nassau for half their games over the next three seasons.

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Coliseum and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, says the Coliseum work will be completed by October.

The county-owned arena reopened a year ago following an 18-month, $165-million renovation by Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, during which the seating capacity for hockey games was reduced to 13,900 from more than 16,000.

The Islanders have pledged the additional $2.5 million in funds for use of the Coliseum as they await the opening of their new planned arena at Belmont Park in 2021.

The $1 billion project planned for Belmont Park calls for an 18,000-seat arena that would be the new home of the Islanders. It also includes 435,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants, a movie theater and a 250-room hotel.

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