Local residents turned out to polling places in the Levittown school district on Monday to cast their votes for the proposed Nassau Coliseum referendum.
The $400 million referendum, which will be used to renovate the Nassau Coliseum and construct a minor league ballpark on site, is being put to a special election today by Nassau County.
Locals were polled at Salk Middle School, Gardiners Avenue Elementary and East Broadway Elementary School in order to get a sense of how they were voting. Residents who were willing to express their opinions were generally split on the referendum.
"I think it's important to have an arena on Long Island," said Jim from Wantagh, who voted for the project. "It's going to create jobs. For an extra $60 a year, I think the return is going to be a lot more."
Many of those in favor of the project cited their desire to keep the Islanders as the reason behind their vote. "My sons and my husband are very big Islanders fans," said Sheryl of Wantagh. "They want to [keep going to games]."
Levittown resident Ryan Murphy said he thinks the project could help the local economy. "It would be a shame not to have [the Islanders] around," he said. "I think it would be bad for the economy of Long Island [if they left]. This project will create jobs and bring in a lot of business. It would be better to have it than for them not to be here."
Those against the project also had a variety of reasons for voting it down. One woman who voted at Gardiners was upset over the price tag. "I've been here 40 years and I don't have any more money," she said. "It's not worth it."
Another detractor of the project said he was concerned that the arena wouldn't attract Islander fans. "Just because you build a pretty seat doesn't mean someone's going to sit there if the team's bad," he said. "This county's a mess. I'm tired of paying for it."
Patch will follow news of the referendum throughout the day.