Nassau Coliseum.

Nassau Coliseum. Credit: Newsday, 2008 / Alan Raia

After a long intermission, Act 2 of "How To Succeed in Rebuilding the Coliseum Without A Plausible Plan," Nassau's longest-running tragic comedy, is set to resume.

Edward Mangano has replaced Thomas Suozzi in the lead role as county executive and the plot now revolves around building an Indian gaming casino instead of a "cool downtown." Still unwritten is a crowd-pleasing, realistic ending that would maximize the potential of Nassau's last big swath of land and keep the Islanders in town.

So to help you understand the action, here's a reprise of the earlier scenes and a summary of the proposed new act.

In the first script involving Suozzi, hockey team owner Charles Wang would have paid for the renovation of the aging Coliseum from the money he raised developing the surrounding land. The Lighthouse Project meant intense density and higher buildings than the Town of Hempstead would allow. It died in previews.

Hempstead tried to revive the show with a scaled down and banal dinner-theater version, but Wang wouldn't back it and the plunging real estate market scared away any new developers.

Mangano's new act involves the Shinnecock Nation, which would buy a chunk of the county land for a full-scale casino.

In this script, the county gets a quick hit of many millions and in the long term, a cut of the profits from the slot machines. Mangano could use the revenue to service the debt on money the county would borrow to build a new arena.

Before a casino takes center stage in Nassau, however, the tribe must get permission from New York's legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. After that, the Shinnecock Nation needs approval from either Congress or the White House to designate the area as tribal land, which would exempt it from the state's constitutional ban on gambling and local zoning laws. The opposition coming from the Villages of Hempstead and Garden City and Hofstra University will certainly delay, if not defeat, this effort.

Unfortunately, Mangano has passed over Belmont Park, a more logical site, for fear of opposition from the operators of a soon-to-open video slot machine operation at nearby Aqueduct Raceway. It's worth a try.

There is an alternative plotline, however, which Mangano floated in his State of the County speech last week. He would ask voters to approve a referendum to borrow $400 million for a new arena. While that exact estimate may be too high, voters will need a lot of persuasion to raise their taxes. If Hempstead town were more flexible in its zoning, perhaps a workable private-public funding plan could be devised.

Decoupling the Coliseum's makeover from the development of Mitchel Field, the county-owned area surrounding the Coliseum, might be the only way to modernize the arena and keep the Islanders as the anchor tenant. And it would give the county time to issue a new request for bids at Mitchel Field focusing on long-term economic development. A casino sitting on half the available land risks squandering all the potential there.

Mangano's ready to roll the dice, but this rewrite still seems to be missing a convincing plot.