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Nassau County votes to allow Isles referendum

The Nassau County Legislature voted Monday to allow a referendum for a public vote Aug. 1 on whether to allow the county to borrow up to $400 million for a new hockey arena and minor-league baseball stadium.

Eleven of the 18 legislators voted to allow the referendum to go ahead. If the bond issue is approved, construction on a new arena could begin next year.

The Islanders have played in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inaugural season in 1972. It is the oldest NHL venue currently in use that has not undergone significant renovations. The New York Rangers home, Madison Square Garden, opened in 1968 but has undergone several major facelifts, including one currently in progress.

   

The Islanders' current lease at the Nassau Coliseum, the NHL’s smallest arena, is set to expire in 2015.