The name NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum is no more.
New York Community Bank is exiting its long-term naming rights agreement because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the 77-acre property, with a new arena operating company taking over, NYCB officials said Thursday.
Nassau County last week struck a deal with the Florida businessman who helped finance the Coliseum’s renovation to immediately take over the lease, after Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov shuttered operations in June.
NYCB officials said the new leaseholder, Jupiter, Fla.-based Nick Mastroianni II, agreed to let the bank leave the naming rights agreement early. Mastroianni could not be reached immediately for comment.
Sal DiMartino, director of investor relations at NYCB, said, “it’s a combination of the HUB not realizing its full potential, the [lease] transfer and COVID that made us come to this agreement.”
Nassau County spokesman Mike Fricchione said: “We believe this iconic location will generate new interest in naming rights," and the Coliseum "will no doubt act on that opportunity.”
NYCB entered the naming rights deal with the previous leaseholder, Prokhorov’s Nassau Events Center, in 2016. The company in 2010 purchased the naming rights to Westbury Music Fair, renaming the 2,800-seat venue the NYCB Theatre in Westbury.
The cost and duration of the agreement were not disclosed at the time. However, Andrew Kaplan, NYCB executive vice president of retail products and services, said Thursday, “it wasn’t a short-term agreement.”
The naming rights agreement pertained to the entire Nassau Hub property in Uniondale. Under original plans, the property surrounding the arena was to feature entertainment options such as restaurants, shops, a movie theater and a nightclub.
Development plans have shifted in recent years.
The possibility of more uncertainty ahead as Mastroianni inherits the partnership development rights with Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty amid the COVID-19 pandemic led NYCB to walk away.
A spokesman for RXR declined to comment Thursday.
Kaplan said the bank made its intentions known to Onexim. Mastroianni granted NYCB the ability to exit the naming-rights agreement after taking over the lease from Onexim, Kaplan said.
The agreement to part company was finalized after the county reached its deal with Mastroianni.
“It really comes down to the cold reality of how you spend your marketing money,” Kaplan said. “You spend it on what’s known, as opposed to the unknown.”