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Exclusive: A look into what makes Long Island, New York's NYCB LIVE & the Nassau Coliseum a top arena for sports and concerts

  • Sportskeeda's exclusive interview with the main programmer of New York's Nassau Coliseum.
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Exclusive
Modified 26 Feb 2020, 14:10 IST

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum / Photo courtesy of NYCB Live
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum / Photo courtesy of NYCB Live

NYCB LIVE is the home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum -- the Nassau Coliseum, for short -- which first opened in February 1972. In addition to being the home of the Long Island Nets and the New York Islanders, the National Lacross League's New York Riptide are currently playing their inaugural season at NYCB LIVE.

Meanwhile, the NYCB LIVE arena has hosted college basketball, championship boxing, family entertainment, and major concert events alike. It was one of the sites of WWE's WrestleMania 2 pay-per-view just as it was WWE's first-ever all-women's pay-per-view, Evolution, in October 2018. All the while it was where officially-released live recordings by the likes of David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Genesis, Rainbow, and The Marshall Tucker Band were taped.

Classic artists aside, the upcoming schedule of NYCB LIVE still manages to feature some of today's top artists and attractions. This includes Celine Dion (March 3rd), New York Islanders (March 7th), Michael Buble (March 24th), Elton John (April 17th & 18th), Tool (April 25th), Cirque Du Soleil (July 8th-12th) and Judas Priest (September 11th). Meanwhile, the 2020 New York Open was at NYCB LIVE just a few weeks ago and featured some of tennis' greatest players, including Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori, John Isner and Reilly Opelka.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Nick Vaerewyck, the Senior Vice President of Programming and Business Operations at NYCB Live, by phone on February 25, 2020. Among the topics discussed were WWE, AEW, the Islanders and the Coliseum's plans to remain a top sporting destination. Our conversation is embedded below for your listening pleasure, while part of it has been transcribed exclusively for Sportskeeda.

More on NYCB Live and the Nassau Coliseum can be found online by visiting www.nycblive.com.

On whether NYCB LIVE has been the site of any recent major film or television projects:

Nick Vaerewyck: Yeah, I think the most prominent one that we've had most recently was the show Billions on Showtime. The Coliseum was featured on that one in season two in a scene where Bobby Axelrod goes down to meet with a Russian billionaire who was interested in buying a team that looks very similar to the Islanders. (laughs) So that was a really cool experience.

We've done pay-per-view events with WWE. We did their first all-women pay-per-view event that they had ever produced, back in October of last year. We've had a number of different events, whether it be a UFC, a Professional Fighter's League boxing event... Certainly our tennis tournament that we do every year that's called the New York Open, that tournament actually broadcasts nationally on The Tennis Channel and internationally as well through countries across the world. We're trying to do as much as we can to get all the coverage on television or otherwise.

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On whether NYCB LIVE, as a long-time WWE partner, is also open to potentially working with All Elite Wrestling:

Nick Vaerewyck: I think the potential of that is no more or no less than any other event coming here. WWE certainly doesn't have any sort of exclusive agreement but it depends on a lot of things, whether the dates work out, the timing works out. WWE has been a great partner and wrestling has a great fanbase on Long Island. We'll see what happens as AEW continues to grow and continue to look for more dates for their events.

Published 26 Feb 2020, 14:10 IST
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