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Don’t be fooled by that Coliseum number
Artists at the renovated Nassau Coliseum brought in $18.8 million in gross ticket receipts in its first three months, according to a Newsday analysis — success that propelled the arena to the top of the Billboard charts for arenas of its size.
But most of that doesn’t boost Nassau County’s finances.
According to its lease with Nassau Events Center, which operates the Coliseum through its majority owner, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the county earns 8 percent of the arena’s revenue, plus 12.75 percent of parking and a $1.50 surcharge on each ticket.
But arena revenue isn’t equal to and often doesn’t even include ticket revenue, since often, promoters, agents and the artists themselves are the ones collecting the ticket sales revenue. Instead, the Coliseum’s revenue is often based on other pieces of the pie, like concessions, merchandise and anything else paid to Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.
But built into the lease is a $4 million minimum rent to the county — revenue that’s guaranteed to the county no matter what the Coliseum brings in. County Executive Edward Mangano told The Point that the county never expected to pierce that minimum in the arena’s first year. He noted, too, that the county will receive an extra $1 million this year, since the New York Islanders won’t be playing six games at the Coliseum as the lease requires.
To earn more than the $4 million minimum, it’ll take a lot more arena revenue, which tends to rise when the Coliseum sells out, or hosts big names.
Occasionally, big-ticket entertainers could help boost the bottom line more directly, depending on their deals. Ticket sales from both Barbra Streisand, who brought in $3.1 million, and Billy Joel, who brought in $1.9 million, went to the entertainment company — so eight percent of those sales count toward the county’s revenue totals.
But it’ll likely take a regular series of Streisand performances to earn the county more than its $4 million minimum.
Randi F. Marshall
Move to remove Zeldin from Holocaust Memorial board
As one of only two Jewish GOP members of the House of Representatives, it’s not surprising the 1st District’s Lee Zeldin has one of the five slots for House members on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (Board of Trustees).
But anti-Zeldin activists, hugely active in his district since the November election, are demanding he be booted off the board, arguing that his response to the recent deadly violence in Charlottesvile, Virginia, has been “unacceptable in its failure to call out Nazi and white nationalist movements as the cause of the violence.” The letter goes on to say, “Instead, he effectively put Nazis and those opposing Nazis on equal footing, calling them both ‘extremes that try to tear us all apart.’ ”
The initiative is being led by Southampton resident and “Show Up Long Island” founder Mara Gerstein, and it includes other groups, Zeldin Watch and Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin among them. Their petition asking for Zeldin’s removal on Moveon.org had more than 1,500 signatures as of early afternoon Monday.
Gerstein knows there’s no chance of Zeldin being removed. It’s Speaker Paul Ryan that picked Zeldin for his seat and could boot him, but besides that event being improbable, Trump could just put Zeldin right back on the board. The letter complains that Zeldin stood with Trump in falsely equating the two sides in Charlottesville, but the president controls 55 of the 70 seats on the board.
Asked for a response, Zeldin’s office told The Point in an email that he has publicly said, “Anyone associating themselves with the KKK and Nazism is associating themselves with hatred, bigotry, racism, intolerance and a tremendously inhumane past filled with horrible evil,” as well as, “Their violent acts inspired by deep hatred are disgusting, un-American, and unwelcome in our great nation.”
But to Gerstein’s point about Zeldin standing with Trump, the congressman also told The Times of Israel: “I would add though that it is not right to suggest that President Trump is wrong for acknowledging the fact that criminals on both sides showed up for the purpose of being violent.”
47 years eclipsed
If you weren’t all that impressed with today’s solar eclipse, plan ahead to 2024, when a short drive upstate will get you the real deal. In the meantime, here’s how Newsday covered the last full solar eclipse in 1970.