Dishing out servings of meatballs at East Meadow’s famous Borrelli’s Restaurant, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Frank Borrelli registered their “vote” to bring the famed Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships to NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. While the nation is captivated by another exciting NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, the local business entrepreneur and the Receiver “pitched” their preference of the Coliseum as the prospective site of the MAAC Championship, noting the economic benefit to the Long Island area and the tremendous enthusiasm that the region’s basketball fans will generate for the major sporting event. Also expressing their support were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, whose district includes the Nassau Coliseum, alumni from MAAC members’ schools, as well as business owners from the local Chamber of Commerce.
Clavin, who happens to be a proud alumnus of longtime MAAC member Canisius College, announced today that he is writing to the MAAC Council of Presidents to help convince them to select the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum as its location for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 MAAC Tournaments. The Receiver has calculated an estimated figure that exceeds $1.6 million of “on-site” economic impact each year the tournament is held at the Coliseum. He estimates another $3 million in off-site hotels and restaurant revenue, which could generate a total of nearly $5 million when combined with on-site ticket, parking and concession figures.
“Located within a strong alumni base here in the Long Island and New York City area, the newly renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum offers fans of the MAAC conference a modern, updated arena with a host of hotels and restaurants nearby,” Clavin said. “As a proud alumnus and fan of the Canisius Golden Griffs, I say it’s time for the MAAC to give the new Coliseum a chance, and host its tournament here. What’s more, Frank Borrelli and I encourage the MAAC Council of Presidents to visit Borrelli’s Restaurant for a meal, and I am confident that the Council will select our venue for its tournament assets and for the local cuisine.”
The MAAC Board of Presidents is expected to vote on its tournament host site for the 2020-2022 events in May. Media reports have included the Nassau Coliseum as a finalist, along with Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall and the longtime site of the current MAAC Tournament through 2019, Albany’s Times Union Center.
“I’m here to cheer for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum as it bids to bring this exciting event to our area,” Goosby said. “The annual tournament will certainly provide a big boost for tourism and for our local economy.”
Supporters of the Coliseum’s bid to host the MAAC Tournament have called the arena an ideal neutral court for the 11 member schools, while providing a central location for alumni in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas.
The MAAC Council of Presidents will certainly have an eager and enthusiastic partner in Clavin, as well as local Chambers of Commerce, area schools and more. In the Receiver’s letter to the MAAC Council of Presidents, he emphasized his willingness to promote the conference and its member schools by involving the schools in events such as a mascot pep rally and encouraging local businesses to offer MAAC Tournament discounts and event-themed “special offers.” Clavin also wrote that he would be happy to assist in organizing alumni receptions, and that he would help generate excitement for the MAAC’s scheduled regular season “triple-header” next season at the Coliseum.
In January, about 2,600 fans attended a local rivalry clash between Iona and Manhattan at the Nassau Coliseum, which was the nightcap of a MAAC “triple-header” of regular season games that also featured member institutions Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Monmouth and Marist. Clavin noted that while the regular season showcase was successful, the postseason tournament would certainly attract a much larger draw from alumni and college basketball fans. Successful MAAC tournaments have been known to attract over 25,000 for the weekend tournament, which features 20 thrilling men’s and women’s “elimination” games over a span of five days, including two nationally televised championship games and live streaming throughout the tournament. The member schools include Iona, Manhattan, Rider, Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Monmouth, Siena, Canisius, Niagara, St. Peter’s and Marist. The champion of the MAAC Tournament earns an “automatic bid” into the Division I NCAA Tournament.
Clavin’s $1.6 million “on-site” impact includes parking, ticket sales, as well as food and other concession items. Clavin projected ticket sales at $1.2 million, based on average individual ticket sales at $30 and all-session/package passes at about $150, with a projected total of 30,000 spectators, including 28,000 individual ticket holders and 2,000 all-session/package pass holders through the entire weekend. What’s more, ticket sales could generate nearly $100,000 in sales tax. The Receiver also calculated that if 15,000 cars parked during the weekend at an estimate of $15 per car, it would exceed $244,000 (including sales tax). Further, concessions estimated at 25 percent of the ticket price add up to an additional $309,225 in concessions, including sales tax.
Not included in that figure are off-site impacts such as hotel room rentals, local restaurants, rental cars, taxi and bus usage, among a host of other areas of economic impact. Based on estimates released by prior MAAC Tournament host sites, with thousands of hotel rooms booked for the weekend and restaurants patronized by tournament visitors, the five-day event could net an additional $3 million in “off-site” revenue. That would increase the total on-site and off-site economic impact to nearly $5 million.
“As a local business owner, I know the positive impact that a major basketball tournament will have on area businesses,” Borrelli said. “I am excited about the prospect of the MAAC Tournament coming to our area.”
“Bringing the MAAC Conference to the Town of Hempstead would be great news for college basketball fans and dedicated alumni from the Long Island and New York City area,” Clavin said. “For now, I will not only be rooting for the MAAC to select the Nassau Coliseum, but I will be cheering for a serving of ‘MAAC and meatballs’ at Borrelli’s.”