Longtime Wrestling Haven, Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum, Shutting Down Indefinitely
It’s a sad day for Northeast Wrestling fans as a longtime haven for professional wrestling, Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum is being indefinitely shuttered.
A report by Bloomberg notes Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which operates the arena under a lease from Nassau County, is planning to shutter the venue indefinitely while it seeks investors to take over operations and pick up the remaining debt on the building.
The closing of this venue is yet another casualty of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The unforeseeable and unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the operations of the Coliseum and its finances,” Onexim said in a statement. “While we still believe in the enormous long term economic value of the Coliseum and the development of the surrounding land, we recognize that such value will be best realized by other parties.”
Over the years, the Nassau Coliseum has been WWE’s second major home in New York, prior to the construction of the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The Nassau Coliseum played host to many historic WWE events including the first-ever Saturday Night’s Main Event, WWE SummerSlam 2002 which featured the return of Shawn Michaels. Also, the Coliseum played host to one-third of 196’s WrestleMania 2. Most recently WWE Evolution, the only all women’s pay-per-view in WWE history.
Outside of WWE, the Nassau Coliseum was also a popular venue run by Jim Crockett Promotions in the 80s, including their first-ever PPV, Bunkhouse Stampede in January 1988. To respond to this pay-per-view, WWE created the Royal Rumble.
The original Nassau Coliseum was shut down for remodeling in 2015 and WWE ran a farewell Raw at the venue which saw Vince McMahon come out in front of the live audience and pay tribute to the venue. You can see that video embedded above.