The New Coliseum’s First Seats

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The Campanelli family. From left: Joe, Maryann, John, Megan and goddaughter Gina Courtesis

Nassau Coliseum revealed its first set of seats from the newly renovated building on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The seats, part of the Coliseum’s Long Island All Access Pass membership, belong to season-ticket holders Maryann and Joe Campanelli of Plainview, along with their son John, John’s wife Megan and Maryann and Joe’s goddaughter Gina Courtesis.

“We’ve been here before—concerts, sporting events,” Joe said. “And we’re looking to continue and see what else can come along, see what else they bring.”

“It’s exciting to be part of the history of this and the reopening of the coliseum. We’re loving it so far,” Maryann added. “So we’re looking forward to all of the benefits that come along with it as well.”

For the Campanellis, those benefits will include access to the Coliseum’s VIP entrance and club level, in addition to their seats’ location in the lower bowl, a prime viewing area for the Coliseum’s upcoming events. Billy Joel is set to open the newly renovated venue with a concert on Apr. 5, kicking off a slew of events in the coming months that includes concerts by Stevie Nicks, Roger Waters and Bruno Mars, college basketball games and Disney On Ice. The Campanellis singled out an Apr. 8 Lionel Ritchie concert as an event they’re looking forward to and also expressed their excitement for the Coliseum’s much-talked-about opening event.

“[We’re] pretty excited. I’ve seen [Billy Joel] before,” Joe said. “But for him to open up in the Coliseum is going to be great.”

“Our family’s broken up into a lot [of different interests],” Maryann added. “They like country music, Monster Jam—my godchildren and nieces and nephews, we do the ice shows.”

The renovated venue will be able to hold 14,500 people for concerts, 13,000 for hockey and 13,500 for basketball. According to Rebecca D’Eloia, senior vice president of development for Forest City Ratner Companies, several seats from the inner circulation ring, between the upper and lower bowl, have been removed in order to make getting around the building easier, something D’Eloia called “a really big improvement.” D’Eloia also notes that new state-of-the-art seats will be added, among other changes.

“The fabric is a special fabric designed for arena use,” she said. “So it’s durable, it’s comfortable. Aesthetically it’s all going to be the same color and just give the building a new look. We’ve improved the power requirements for those concerts. The other big change we’ve made is, we’re improving the food service dramatically. We’re doing all new food service equipment and installing new concession stands so the menu will be a lot better for patrons.”

In addition to showing excitement for the view that awaits them at the Coliseum’s upcoming events, the Campanellis expressed enthusiasm at the idea of the Coliseum returning in top condition. Maryann cited the Coliseum as invaluable to providing Long Island with quality local entertainment.

“It’s important for the economy, it’s important for jobs, it’s important just to be with family and do things together,” Maryann said.

“We’re local residents and we wanted to stay local for entertainment and to entertain both colleagues and partners. It’s better than travelling far away. We’ve got a lot to do here on Long Island. That’s why we’re here.”

D’Eloia added that some fans previously viewed the Coliseum as neglected and that the renovation would give Long Island residents the venue they deserve.

“I think most fans would agree that, as much as you love the building, it needed a little love,” D’Eloia said. “So I think this renovation gives it that love and gives it the look of the premiere facility that it really is and should be for Long Island.”

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