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Boxing added to Nassau Coliseum bidders' plans

Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. (March 13, 2013)

Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. (March 13, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Forest City Ratner Cos. and the Madison Square Garden Co. have both added plans to host boxing bouts to their competing bids to revamp the Nassau Coliseum.

Oscar De La Hoya, a former 10-time world champion boxer, and Bernard Hopkins, a middleweight world champion, would manage boxing matches and events at the Coliseum under Ratner's latest proposal, company officials said this week.

MSG officials said they also plan to bring professional boxing to the Coliseum, noting that they have hosted matches at the Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is expected to pick the winning bidder for the Coliseum overhaul by the middle of the month. He will choose between Ratner's $229-million redevelopment plan and MSG's $250-million proposal.

Brett Yormark, chief executive of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and a member of the Forest City Ratner development team bidding on the Coliseum, said this week that the company would plan to host four to six "big-time boxing events" in Nassau, similar to the "Brooklyn Boxing" matches it launched last year at Barclays, a Ratner development.

The matches would be organized primarily by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions firm, Yormark said.

"Interest in boxing is untapped on Long Island and we are ready to deliver a major knockout," De La Hoya said in a statement.

MSG officials said the company has a 130-year history of hosting fights at its venues and would work with multiple boxing promoters.

"We have terrific relationships with all of the top boxing promoters," MSG said in a statement. "As part of our plan to create a thriving sports and entertainment destination on Long Island, [we] look forward to leveraging those strong relationships . . . to deliver boxing excitement to the Nassau Coliseum."

Forest City Ratner's plan for the Coliseum calls for a 13,000-seat arena, a 2,000-seat indoor theater, an outdoor amphitheater and retail space.

MSG's proposal calls for a 14,500-seat arena, an outdoor entertainment complex with restaurants, an Islanders-themed sports bar and bowling and billiards.

The Coliseum has served as the longtime home of the NHL New York Islanders, but the team is scheduled to move to Barclays in 2015.

The Dolan family owns a controlling interest

in MSG and Cablevision,

which owns Newsday.


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