In the 1990s, I attended the Million Man March – which was held in Washington, D.C. During one of the many speeches –a featured speaker posed a question: Please name something that’s always being built-in America? My immediate response was new home construction / indoor-outdoor strip malls and / or pharmaceutical plants or factories. I stood there proudly waiting for the response – the answer was correctional facilities and stadiums.
While living in the greatest city and mecca of the entire world – you never need to wonder about its sports hungry fan-base. (IE: Knicks, Nets, Liberty, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Red Bulls, Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets) Lately, it seems that a stadium is being constructed every other year in the tri-state area. Long Islanders (Nassau & Suffolk County) were resigned to the loss of their beloved NY Islanders (in 2015) to the “hip” Barclays Center. (Brooklyn, NY) The story is well-known to all native New Yorker’s – the 42 yr old Nassau Coliseum required an upgrade / retrofit and/or new building roughly about 15 years ago, but it was mired in local politics. Nassau and Suffolk County residents were caught between losing their only professional sports franchise and / or being left to cover the cost through additional taxes. This isn’t just a Long Island problem, but it sparks a debate across the country whenever a major city is chosen or is in the “prime” geographical market to host a major league sports franchise. You should take the time to look at the NFL and it’s love affair with a Los Angeles football stadium and the NBA’s affinity for the untapped Pacific Northwest market. It’s a shame to watch cities such as Sacramento and Seattle cut down each other for the rights to host a professional basketball franchise and sports arena.
The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (Yes, the same Pele’ Cosmos from the 1970s) have submitted a privately funded economic development proposal to the State of New York for a state-of-the-art 25,500-seat soccer-specific stadium in the Belmont Park area of Elmont, N.Y., on the border with Queens. The stadium is likely to cost around $400 million and would stand as the center of a proposed entertainment complex that would also include a park and smaller soccer field. The Cosmos have included a $2.5 million pledge to develop other community soccer fields in the proposal.
“We plan to develop an iconic project for the region and build a state-of-the-art stadium that will make Nassau County and the entire region proud,” said Seamus O’Brien, chairman and CEO of the Cosmos. “Belmont is an ideal location and a win-win for everyone involved. Nassau County and Elmont will realize much-needed economic growth, and local residents will have a year-round premier destination they can call their own.”
It should be noted that the Cosmos storied franchise is planning this re-entry with a second tier start-up soccer league. The NASL is not affiliated with Major League Soccer and Commissioner Don Garber. The MLS is financially solvent (with its own alternate Flushing stadium plan) and flush with cash from its NBC SPORTS marketing and television rights deal. The Cosmos would have their inaugural season in 2015. The economic growth would include construction jobs and over 3,000 full-time jobs. This includes transportation infrastructure, restaurants, hotel and rejuvenate an Elmont, (Belmont) NY community.
There’s definitely a story to tell and we’ll provide quarterly updates on its impending outcome.