Using a large sledgehammer, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and developer Bruce Ratner smashed a hole in the wall of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, officially starting the renovation of the former home of the New York Islanders.
The coliseum renovation project, funded by $260 million in private investments, will convert the arena into a sports and entertainment hub that will also feature retail stores, a movie theater and seven restaurants. The redeveloped property is scheduled to open in 2016.
"We are very, very excited to break ground today," Mangano told reporters. "We're glad to bring this vision to a reality."