Coliseum in Ruins
About the Coliseum
Name: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Opened: May 29, 1972
Hockey seating capacity: 16,297
Luxury suites: 38
Ice dimension: 200 feet x 85 feet
Parking capacity: 6,869 spaces
By Alan Hahn
IT WAS game night at Nassau Coliseum, one forgotten moment in a
forgotten season for the building's main tenant, the
New York Islanders. Still, two hours before game time, the
Coliseum parking lot was mostly barren. They don't expect
sellouts these days at the old arena, because things aren't what
they used to be on the ice for the Islanders.
The same could be said about the building, too.
It is evidenced by the flags whipping in the wind. There are 10
poles, bearing flags with logos of the Islanders, the
Coliseum and SMG, the arena's management company. Nine stand
strong in the unyielding mid-winter elements, but
there is one -- the one with the Islanders flag -- slumped at a
60-degree angle. The pole leans at the base, loosened by
time and neglect.
A group of Islanders staffers hustle through an employee
entrance on the north side of the building. They can't help but
notice the puddles of rainwater collecting along the base of the
glass doors at various locations along the Coliseum
concourse. After years of dealing with it, workers lay
newspapers and towels along the wall and doorways in an effort
to control the mild flooding.