Nassau Coliseum: Top five most memorable moments in it’s 39-year history

Long Island residents are set to take part in a referendum vote Aug. 1 for a new Nassau Coliseum. According to reports, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano insists a new Nassau Coliseum would bring the county 11 percent of the gross ticket sales and make it more likely the 77 acres adjoining the arena will attract private investment.

The Coliseum is a multi-purpose indoor arena that hosts New York Islanders games as well as WWE events and concerts. While the arena has long been considered obselete, many specials moments have occured there since it opened in 1972. Here is a guide to the top five highlights in Nassau Coliseum history.

May 24, 1980

In Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals, New York Islanders winger Bob Nystrom scored the winning goal at the 7:11 mark of overtime to bring Long Island it's first Stanley Cup. Nystrom was a fan favorite at Nassau Coliseum for several years, as he embraced the Long Island community by donating to local charities.

Oct 3, 2009

New York Islanders prospect John Tavares made his home regular season debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the game, Tavares notched his first NHL goal and the Coliseum faithful erupted in a loud, emotional applause.

Feb. 6, 1999

Besides the many great Islanders moments, the Coliseum has played host to hundreds of concerts over the years. One memorable highlight was the concert that featured performances by Black Sabbath, the Deftones and Pantera. When Black Sabbath played "Paranoid" for an encore, confetti streamed from the rafters and the Long Island residents on hand rocked with the group as if it was the 1970s all over again.

June 13, 2011

The Coliseum has hosted many wrestling events since it opened in 1972, but the special three-hour All-Stars edition of RAW was especially memorable. The arena seats were filled with mostly teenagers and children, who delivered an incredible blend of youthful exhuberance that was missing from the Coliseum for years. Since the event was three hours long, the crowd went extra wild when John Cena finally appeared after much anticipation.

Feb. 8, 1983

The Coliseum hosted the NHL All-Star Game, and it was memorable because Wayne Gretsky showed off for Long Island hockey fans by scoring four goals in a ferocious third period. When Gretsky was named the MVP of the game, the fans on hand roared with excitement.

Sources:, Kathy Blumenstock, Sports Illustrated, Nassau Coliseum

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Updated Monday, Aug 1, 2011