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Nassau Coliseum seats being sold by company doing redevelopment work for $500 a pair

The Brooklyn-based company redeveloping the Nassau Coliseum is

The Brooklyn-based company redeveloping the Nassau Coliseum is selling pairs of seats from the county-owned arena for $500 on a sports collectibles website. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Brooklyn-based company redeveloping the Nassau Coliseum is selling pairs of seats from the county-owned arena for $500 on a sports collectibles website.

Nassau Events Center has a deal with Steiner Sports of New Rochelle to sell 1,500 pairs of the old green cushioned Coliseum seats at $499.99 apiece.

Nassau County, which owns the Coliseum -- and for decades paid to maintain the building, including replacing and repairing the fold-down seats -- will not profit from the sales, officials said.

Brian Nevin, spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano, said the terms of the county's lease with Nassau Events Center gives the company control of the building and all its contents.

"On August 1st, pursuant to the lease, NEC took operational control of the facility, including seats, which are being replaced with new seats," he said.

The county's lease with Nassau Events makes no mention of its ability to sell the seats but says the firm can "remove and dispose" of machinery and equipment "which may become obsolete or unfit for use or which is no longer useful in the operation of the premises."

Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said Nassau "deserves its fair share from the sale of the seats. I think it's wrong the county is not included in the deal."

Nassau Events Center officials declined to comment. Last month, Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov became the company's majority owner.

The Coliseum has about 16,000 seats. It was unclear whether Nassau Events will try to sell them all.

A description on Steiner Sports' website says the Coliseum "seats are a must have for any memorabilia collector. What better way to relive the last 40 years of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum than by adding an actual seat pair to your home or office. From Islander games to Billy Joel concerts, even all the way back to the days of 'Dr. J' [Julius Erving] and the Nets, this authentic Nassau Coliseum seat pair will help you relive some of the amazing moments that took place within the Coliseum walls." Steiner Sports CEO Brandon Steiner said Monday the deal with Nassau Events would give Islanders fans "the opportunity to own a piece of 'the Old Barn' as its renovation project gets underway."

The New York Yankees used Steiner Sports to sell seats from the old Yankee Stadium, which was owned by the City of New York, after the building closed in 2008. That year, the New York Mets also used the team's website to sell seats from Shea Stadium, which also was owned by the city and was demolished in 2008-2009.

NEC is spending $260.5 million to overhaul and downsize the Coliseum and build an adjacent retail and entertainment complex. The contract calls for Nassau Events Center to pay the county more than $500 million in rent and sales taxes over the course of the 34-year lease.

With Jim Baumbach

New York Sports