The Islanders began their final season at Nassau Coliseum on Monday with a new name surrounding the familiar logo at center ice: Nassau Live Center.
Nassau Live Center is the name of the Coliseum’s new leaseholder, which has taken over control of the county-owned building after Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov defaulted on rent and walked away from a $100 million loan.
When asked about the name Nassau Live Center on the ice, the leaseholder representative, Nicholas Mastroianni II, said in a statement that the words won’t be there for long. He said the ice eventually will read: "Nassau Live at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum."
Mastroianni said: "I can say without question that the name ‘Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum’ will never disappear on my watch. When the Islander ice is painted, it will say Nassau Live at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum."
A county spokeswoman said Mastroianni plans to use Nassau Live as a replacement where arena references used to say "NYCB Live at Nassau Coliseum."
New York Community Bank pulled out of its naming rights deal at the Coliseum in August amid the uncertainty created when Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment walked away. Nassau then negotiated a deal with Mastroianni to take over the same lease because his Jupiter, Florida, company, U.S. Immigration Fund, orchestrated the loan that helped finance Onexim’s renovation of the Coliseum.
Nassau recently negotiated a deal with Mastroianni that gives him a break on rent obligations until six months after the state lifts all restrictions on live events. Part of the deal required Mastroianni to make the Coliseum available to the Islanders. That deal still requires Nassau Legislature approval.