Mikhail Prokhorov and the Russian billionaire’s Onexim Group can say they’ve shut NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum because of the financial difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.
But Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Wednesday in a radio interview the Islanders’ longtime home rink is still a viable option for the next NHL season before the team plans to move into its under-construction arena at Belmont Park in October, 2021.
“I’m really hoping we can have a great season with the Islanders in the Coliseum before Belmont opens,” Curran said on 1010 WINS. “I do know that the next time the Islanders do play in New York, it will be in Nassau County.”
Prokhorov is seeking investors to take over the Coliseum’s lease and assume the remaining $100 million in debt.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Feb. 29 the Islanders would play all their home games in 2020-21 at the Coliseum after splitting home games during this paused season and last season between Barclays Center and Uniondale.
“Of course, the pandemic has changed a lot,” Curran said. “What I can tell you is there are conversations going on. Very important, big conversations happening and I’m an optimistic person.”