A much-loved Long Island landmark, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has been the site of countless sporting and entertainment events throughout its 50-year history.

Despite its rich heritage, the stadium’s future is now in doubt with the announcement that a multibillion-dollar resort will be built in the Nassau hub sandsa Las Vegas-based casino and resort company.

While the project still needs approval from the Nassau County Legislature and the Town of Hempstead Zoning Board, it was described by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blackman as “the largest deal ever in Nassau County.”

The proposed development, estimated to cost $4-5 billion, will include amenities including a casino, hotel rooms, ballrooms, meeting space, live entertainment, restaurants, a health club and a spa.

At a news conference Wednesday announcing the property’s new lease agreement, Blackman was asked about the future of the coliseum in relation to the proposed Sands resort.

“That’s a great question,” Blackman said. “When you receive that kind of money, you have to give your tenants some leeway to develop the property the way they want. They will have the opportunity to make decisions about the future of the stadium.”

Assuming it receives full New York state approval and a casino license, it will be up to Sands to decide whether the coliseum will be part of the complex or will be demolished.

“It’s still a possibility, and I think we’re looking at all the options,” said Rob Goldstein, president of Las Vegas Sands. “It’s a brand new deal. It’s a $5 billion project. It can stay , or not. It depends on how things go.”

The Coliseum has been home to several sports franchises over the years, including the New York Islanders, who won four Stanley Cups while playing there. Most recently, the arena is home to the New York Rapids of the National Lacrosse League and the Long Island Nets of the NBA Development League.

Blackman expressed hope that the stadium will remain available for sports and entertainment, even if it is downsized or repurposed to add other professional sports such as arena football and indoor soccer.

He also acknowledged its historic significance and iconic status.

“I hope they find a use for the gym,” Blackman said. “It’s going to be at their discretion. They’re paying a lot of money and it’s going to depend on their commercial judgment.”

Although it certainly looks different now after renovations between 2015 and 2017, the Coliseum still holds many fond memories for many Long Islanders. The arena has hosted countless sports and entertainment events, including concerts by local legend Billy Joel, the Disney Ice Show, Ringling Brothers Circus and the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Nets, then part of the ABA, won two championships at the Coliseum under Julius Erving in 1974 and 1976. This photo was taken by the then-New York Nets before opening night in the “new stadium” stadium in 1972.

On February 9, 1972, the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale opened as the home of the American Basketball Association’s New York Nets. (Photo by Associated Press)

Above: New York Islanders fans gather before Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Uniondale, N.Y., Thursday, June 17, 2021. Outside Sao Stadium (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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