MLS is no longer the only organization looking to construct a soccer-specific stadium in the New York Area.
The New York Cosmos of the NASL announced on Wednesday that they have submitted an economic development proposal to the State of New York for a 25,000-seat stadium that they hope can open by 2016. The proposal for ‘Elmont Town Crossing’ was privately funded and included plans for transforming two parts of Belmont Park, located in Nassau County on Long Island, into an entertainment complex that would host a “Restaurant Row”, nearly 250,000 square feet of retail space, a new 4.3 acre public park and a hotel. The Cosmos also unveiled a website for the stadium plan on Wednesday.
Like MLS’s desired stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, the Cosmos’ proposed stadium would be privately funded. It is expected that it would cost more than $400 million, and that it would create 3,000 full-time jobs as well as more than 500 temporary construction jobs.
“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,” Chairman and CEO of the New York Cosmos Seamus O’Brien told the club’s website. “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.”
If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2014, with the targeted opening date set for spring 2016. As part of the deal, Elmont Town Crossing would also feature transportation improvements and a smaller soccer field in addition to the public park that would be open to local soccer teams to play on.
While news of a second-division club looking to build a luxurious soccer-specific stadium is a good sign of progress for soccer in the United States, it also means MLS now has competition in the New York market. MLS has been busy pursuing a stadium in Queens for a second New York team that would serve as rivals to the New York Red Bulls (who play at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.), but the league’s plans include a similar timeframe for construction and opening to that of the Cosmos’ stadium proposal, meaning New York-based soccer fans might be torn as to which club to support should both stadiums be approved and constructed.
What do you make of this development? Think the New York area can handle three teams with sparkling new soccer-specific stadiums?
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