Nassau Coliseum has a new name.
The Uniondale arena will be renamed “Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank” when it reopens in April after 18 months of renovations.
New York Community Bank purchased the naming rights to both the Coliseum and its future retail and entertainment district, said Brett Yormark, chief executive officer of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the company overseeing the project.
The 77-acre Coliseum plaza, which will include shops, restaurants, a movie theater and a nightclub, will be known as “NYCB Live” with a new marquee to be erected on Hempstead Turnpike early next year.
The cost of the naming rights and the length of the agreement were not disclosed.
In 2014, Yormark told Newsday he was looking for a naming rights partner that appealed to Long Island’s “active lifestyle.” But as the process continued, Brooklyn Sports targeted companies with close ties to Long Island that would promote the arena and the plaza, he said.
“Culturally, they were a good fit,” Yormark said of NYCB. “They were willing to help us market the project. And they have a sizable footprint on Long Island.”
New York Community Bancorp, Inc., which last year agreed to purchase Astoria Bank, has 54 branches on Long Island, including 32 in Nassau.
The company in 2010 purchased the naming rights to Westbury Music Fair, renaming the 2,800-seat venue the NYCB Theatre in Westbury.
“The Coliseum is right here in our backyard,” said Andrew Kaplan, executive vice president of retail products and services at New York Community Bancorp, Inc. “And we are excited about their vision for the new Hub,” referring to the overall project.
The Coliseum closed in August 2015 and renovations began that October. The arena, with up to 14,500 seats for concerts, will reopen on April 5 with a Billy Joel concert. Construction of the retail plaza has not begun.
A 2013 contract between the county and developer Bruce Ratner requires Ratner’s company to pay the county at least $195 million over the 34-year lease.
Nassau receives 8 percent of the annual gross revenue from all revenue generated at the Coliseum — including the naming rights, tickets and concessions — or at least $4.4 million each year. The county also gets 12.75 percent of parking revenue. During the construction phase, the company pays Nassau $100,000 per month.
The contract requires Ratner to keep the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum name. The developer also is building an exterior memorial at the arena recognizing military veterans, Yormark said.
Among the other “founding partners” at the Coliseum are Tri-State Ford, sponsor of the arena’s parking lot; JetBlue, which sponsors concert and event programming; the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, which sponsors health events, and National Grid, which is providing gas lamps along the plaza walkway.