The new Nassau Coliseum is coming, Brett Yormark said, and it’ll look pretty familiar. For anyone who’s been to Barclays Center, at least.
The Nets on Thursday unveiled the logos and uniforms for the Long Island Nets — the squad’s NBA Development League team — and along the way provided some insight on the venue where they’ll play beginning in fall 2017.
“Oh, it’ll be ready,” the Barclays Center CEO said of the Coliseum, which began its $260.5-million renovation in August, he said. “It’ll have a similar look, feel and flavor to the Barclays Center. It’s going to host not only the D-League team but obviously world-class events, no different than the Barclays Center. I’m excited about it.”
The Long Island Nets will play out their inaugural 2016-17 season at Barclays Center while renovations continue and will be part of an expansion that will take the D-League from 19 teams to 22. The logo and uniforms are red, white and blue, similar to the American Basketball Association’s New York Nets. Yormark said the Nets are “very committed to working with the youth of Long Island, teaching them the skills of basketball, using the D-League team to do that.”
It also will be instrumental in player development, Nets general manager Sean Marks said, given that “we’re short one or two draft picks.” (The Nets will not have a first-round draft pick for two of their next three years and will not control any first-round pick until 2019.)
Yormark was adamant that significant progress has been made on the building, though there has been recent speculation that the project was not moving along as expected. This week, the Association for a Better Long Island called on Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano to rescind the lease on the building, which belongs to Forest City Ratner, saying that the renovations had stalled.
Mangano yesterday tweeted a picture of a stripped Coliseum and said that more than 1,000 pounds of debris had been removed. He said he will not rescind the lease.
“I was just out there 10 days ago,” Yormark said. “I’m amazed at the work that’s been done already. Obviously, the work is being overseen by Forest City Ratner. They did a wonderful job here with the Barclays Center, and I expect nothing different out there. It’s going to be a world-class venue.”
He added that they will announce the opening act in the next few months and said programming for the Coliseum already has been booked.
“The feedback we’re getting from the industry is they’re very excited about going back to Long Island because for many years, that was a very historic and very popular venue to play,” he said. “Our goal is to restore it in that way, but also, more importantly, give the Long Islanders a place to go see world-class events.”