The Islanders are somehow headed back to Brooklyn.
Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which operates the venue under a lease from Nassau County, plans to shutter the Long Island arena indefinitely while it seeks new investors to take over the 13,000-seat arena and assume the remaining debt, according to Bloomberg.
The development comes three months after the arena closed amid the global coronavirus pandemic that shut down all sports and concert venues across New York.
Onexim has reportedly told potential investors that it would turn over the Coliseum’s lease in exchange for assuming roughly $100 million in loans on the property. The report also said the firm could surrender the lease to its lenders.
Under Prokhorov’s 49-year lease to operate the Coliseum, the county receives at least $4.4 million in annual rent. The Coliseum’s lease was originally negotiated in 2013 by then-Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner.
Ratner sold 85-percent stake in the company that operates the Coliseum to Prokhorov in 2015. Three years later, Prokhorov bought out Ratner’s minority share, making him the sole owner of the Coliseum lease.
Last year, billionaire Joseph Tsai purchased the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center from Prokhorov, but that deal did not include the Coliseum.
The Coliseum was home to the Islanders from 1972 to 2015. The arena then closed for a $180 million renovation and the team had to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Despite the Coliseum reopening in 2017, the Islanders split the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons between Brooklyn and Long Island.