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Mitchel Field is a former Army/Air Force base located in the center of Nassau County. This 1,200-acre base was shut down in 1960 and declared surplus property by the U.S. Government. Nassau County obtained much of this property from the government in 1961. With the obtainment of Mitchel Field, many proposals were put forth. Some of the recommendations included a civic center, a large central library, residential housing, museum and cultural center. After consideration of these recommendations, the result was to build a 15,000 seat arena (additional seats were added from 1981-1984 that increased the seating capacity to over 18,000). The arena was built at the cost of 32 million dollars and sits on sixty-three acres of Mitchel Field. The building was dedicated to those who had made the supreme sacrifice for their country; hence the name Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.