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Report: Cosmos to explore new stadium options by year’s end if lack of progress continues

New York Cosmos Stadium (NY Cosmos)



The New York Cosmos have been waiting years for news regarding the team’s stadium bid, but it appears that the club cannot wait much longer.

According to a report from Newsday, the Cosmos will start exploring new options by the end of 2015 if the state doesn’t decide on the $400 million project before then. The Cosmos are open to exploring alternative options in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, and New Jersey if no developments emerge regarding the club’s current Belmont plan.

“It’s frustrating to be in this situation,”said Cosmos chief operating officer Erik Stover. “We are at a point where we are running out of time. Any business trying to grow and trying to build itself needs to in fact grow. If you are staying flat or neutral you are falling behind.”

Currently, the Cosmos play out of Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. At the mercy of the university, the club has been held back due to the stadium’s availability, which prevents the Cosmos from hosting revenue-building contests such as midseason friendlies.

Regarding the team’s current situation, Stover said that “the opportunity costs have been enormous” as New York continues to tread water without a proper home.

Stover originally told SBI in March that he expected news soon from the Empire State Development Corporation, New York’s primary business-aid agency, regarding stadium news. Now, three months later, the club remains in the dark, prompting an ultimatum that may see the club move away from a site in Belmont originally praised as “ideal”.


What do you think about this report? Where do you see the Cosmos playing long-term? What location would be best?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “Cosmos bashing” tell us Open Cup fan. What is your valuation of the brand? Some people may just be bashing but a lot of people are trying to Figure out what he brand is worth. No they don’t earn more than any MLS team, yes the brand has more goodwill than the Colorado Rapids (doesn’t mean the team is worth more just the brand) Tell us what your valuation is and back it up with numbers and logic. Look forward to your reasoned reply.

  2. Funny thing about Cosmos bashing is that the same people (league) that say they don’t matter are the same ones that make time to post anti-Cosmos comments in every article written on the team.
    #greentideworldwide – Support your local independent soccer clubs!

  3. I don’t know how the Cosmos stay in business, to be honest. It seems like they spend a pile of $$, with fairly limited revenue streams.

    • Cosmos earn more money than all mls teams combined. See anyone can say anything they want without any proof on here.

  4. Agree, think the nasl will be gone soon, along with cosmos, remaining teams will go to USL after some are expanded into MLS. People are right to say that some around the world know the cosmos name from the past, but would they really be buying tickets in NYC or watching their games to such a degree that foreign TV contract money goes up much for the league? meaning is the name worth much more in dollars? don’t think so really…

    • You have it right, brands are an intangible asset, listed as goodwill on a balance sheet. The idea MLS should have paid Cosmos to join MLS would mean the value of their brand is >$100 million. Also would fail to take into account the increased revenue streams Cosmos would receive by joining MLS. The value of a brand is only the revenue it can bring in, think thinks like hipsters buying Cosmos shirts to look cool. Actual Cosmos fans buying tickets, etc. is revenue from their actual operations so most of that wouldn’t likely be counted. Also for the people wondering the revenue from your cousin asking about the Cosmos is $0. Would your cousin pay for a channel to watch the Cosmos and potentially add $ to MLS TV contracts? Maybe, but not anywhere near enough to value the brand at anywhere near $100 million.

  5. I’ll tell you where they will be playing in the long term – the history books because let’s face it, the NASL is not long for this world.

  6. For those who believe the Cosmos recognition is gone, they are wrong. I know they play in D2, stopped playing for years and play at a small stadium, but the most known soccer teams from America are cosmos then galaxy, and now nycfc.
    Cosmos,galaxy,nycfc and Beckhams team is going to blow up.
    I used to talk brazilian,Chilean, mexican,german, and old American soccer fanatics and they all asked, where are the Cosmos and what happened to them.
    They would also ask, how was galaxy doing and why not cosmos.
    When I played city league, there was teams named cosmos and galaxy,besides madrid, United and america.
    We gotta be honest, cosmos would take mls to a different level globally.
    MLS only has galaxy and nycfc, Seattle is getting there and Miami is on their way, as teams who have global recognition with MLS.
    It would be awesome for ny to have 3 teams,but first rebrand red bull and wait till nycfc and cosmos get their stadium.

    • But if the Cosmos are (still) so important, why are people asking what happened to them? And what would change if they moved to MLS? As someone already said, brand recognition is not the same as brand value.

      I’m no hater; I am one of those old enough to have cheered for the Cosmos in Giants Stadium in the 1970s. But for whatever reason(s) — and they are not important to me — the Cosmos were not part of MLS. When the MetroStars came along, the Cosmos consisted of a museum in Pepe Pinton’s house. I have moved on. I wish the Cosmos luck, but they are *not* the Cosmos of my youth. And they are not my club now.

  7. Only way this works for Cosmos is that Redbull sells RBNY and new owners pay for name, otherwise Cosmos remain relegated to 2nd tier. Name only matters to those people born before 1975 and I have great memories of that team.

  8. I was more than a little miffed at the Cosmos for not figuring out a way into MLS. Now their backs are against a wall and no matter how hard they try, there is no undoing the fact that they need MLS more than MLS needs the Cosmos. Talk about recognition blah blah blah all you want. That’s all subjective and has the substance of fog.

    The reality is that their brinkmanship landed them in Hempstead. Even if their boondoggle stadium out there is approved I don’t see it ever happening. Seamus or whoever has the wallet will come to their senses and not blow that cash on that sillyness. They NEED to be closer to the city. They NEED to be in the top tier. These are facts.

  9. not local, but the Aquaduct site looks pretty prime. last i looked into it there was some casino deal that fell through, is this correct?.. it a huge site that with some minor transit improvements could be a mega development with a stadium, fields, hotels, housing, commercial, etc similar but bigger than Sacramento’s plans and only 30 min from Manhattan and 10 min from JFK Airport.

    anyone hear anything about this site or other being considered for NYC or NYCFC stadiums?

    • Aqueduct’s been in play for at least 10 years or so, it’s one of the sites the MetroStars scouted before they settled on Harrison.

      There’s a lot of pluses with Aqueduct – on a highway, on a subway line, in the five boroughs. Seems to be space for a stadium there. Pretty accessible from Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, but far from Manhattan (30 minutes is not realistic).

      But with 3 soccer teams looking to build stadiums in NYC over the last decade, there’s got to be some reason why none of them settled on Aqueduct.

  10. Can some one tell me why the Cosmos are not in MLS because I have heard two different stories- one that the Cosmos rejected MLS in favor of NASL and two that MLS rejected the Cosmos in favor of the NYCFC group. What is the real story? Please tell me.

    • neither is/was interested in each other. The name was never made available to MLS and now the Cosmos 2.0 are the cornerstone of the NASL 2.0 (very different business/ownership model than MLS). They would rather be a thorn in the side than sell out to Garber.

    • squatch, I’m not Cosmos fan, nor do I live in the area, so I don’t pretend to have intimate knowledge of the negotiations but I do follow both the NASL and MLS.

      So here goes:

      Cosmos didn’t want to pony up the $100 large that MLS wanted to buy in. Add to that, they wanted to continue to reap more ca$h from their brand and anticipated potential financial success. They also had some other issues with the MLS model and rules. So they rolled the dice and “passed” on MLS. They put all their eggs in the NASL basket and the NASL has been kissing the Cosmos Green and White behinds ever since. Both parties are betting on each other in a BIG way to help the other one be successful.

      MLS turned around and told the Cosmos “Good luck, playing down In the second division–we’ll ffind another option in one of the five boroughs to make Donnie G’s dream a reality–you need us more than we need you!”

      Fast forward a bit: Man City and the Yankees decide to launch a more ambitious and better funded Chivas USA type project in da Bronx. That was pretty much the last mail in the joining MLS coffin for the Cosmos–even if they changed their mind and wanted to.

      So, that’s my admittedly oversimplified and editorialized take (for whatever it’s worth).

      I hope that helps, Playah.

    • MLS is a single entity structure. Their clubs are not in fact independently owned clubs like in Europe but instead they are a franchise of MLS. If the Cosmos were to “join” MLS they in fact would be giving the Cosmos brand to MLS and therefore be giving over their authority and control of the brand.

      The Cosmos brand is far more valuable than any other MLS franchise at the moment. I have family in Brazil and none of my family there can name a single MLS team but several of them ask me how the Cosmos are doing when I visit. They told me they were fans back in the 70s and 80s when Pele played for the Cosmos. They kept asking me this even before the Cosmos started playing again a few years ago. The Cosmos brand is an international brand that spans borders. Its the only US club that has fans all over the world.

      Maybe its possible for MLS and Cosmos to come to an agreement over controlling the brand and retain some of their rights but I’d imagine the other franchises would want this as well and that would be the end of MLS’ singe-entity structure.

      The single-entity structure is designed to stabilize the league since many franchises don’t turn a profit. Essentially the profitable franchises subsidize the less profitable. This keeps the league from folding like the old NASL back in the 80s.

      But, its also designed to keep franchises from bidding against each other for players thereby keeping a players salary options artificially low. MLS pays the players directly not the franchise with the only exception of DP players.

      My opinion is that eventually a time will come when MLS feels the league is stable enough to remove the single entity structure and allow the franchises to own themselves, but they will always keep some form of salary cap in place similar to other American professional leagues to keep salaries in check and to keep some sort of competitive balance and parity in the league.

      Hope that explains it some. Now if you ask me to explain how allocation money works that will take several months but by the time I’m finished MLS and Garber will have changed the rules again so whats the point.

      • Good explanation, except for the assertion that the Cosmos brand is more valuable than that if any MLS club. Any evidence?

      • @Brain Guy

        Good point. If you are purely basing valuation on a spreadsheet and comparables the Cosmos are not as valuable as say LA Galaxy.

        However, its hard to factor into that valuation the Cosmos name recognition overseas and potential growth factor given its inherent fan base.

        Clubs like Man U and Real Madrid are international clubs with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. If our first division is ever going to have a real super club like one of those sometime in the future it would be the Cosmos, its the only brand that travels that far.

        Its this potential for growth that gives the Cosmos its higher valuation in my opinion. Just like a startup tech comapny its hard to value.

        But, the Cosmos time is limited. Those overseas fans like my family in Brazil are getting older and the younger generation doesn’t remember last year much less the 80s. So, the clock is definitely ticking for MLS and Cosmos to get something done otherwise as each year passes we have to discount that potential growth in overseas fans following the club again.

        I think it would be great for US soccer and MLS in general if this could get worked out somehow but the Cosmos value their brand much higher than MLS.

        But, its also ridiculous for MLS to essentially ask the Cosmos to pay MLS a 100M expansion fee for what is already a valuable brand. Payment should be going from MLS to the Cosmos not the other way around.

      • No one cares about the Cosmos overseas (or here for that matter). If they were so important and valuable MLS would have bent over backwards to have them join. Instead they decided to create their own team from scratch.

        The idea MLS should pay Cosmos is laughable. Cosmos need MLS far more than the other way around.

      • @slowleftarm

        You may be right. But, whether its my extended family living in Brazil or other overseas people I meet they never ask me how the Galaxy or Red Bulls are doing. I do get asked quite often about the Cosmos and then they tell me about their memories watching Pele or Beckenbauer playing for Cosmos.

      • The funny thing is that every MLS fan doesn’t realize or refuses to admit is that no matter what league the Cosmos play in they will always be WINNERS! What pains these dudes the most is suffering 20 years w/o a championship, and the other club be a total embarrassment,, is having a team come together from the ashes and win a Championship their very first year and be a powerhouse in their league ever since! Stop being hypocrites. You know dam well if the Cosmos would’ve joined MLS and done what they’ve done so far you all would’ve been kissing Cosmos ass!!

      • You’re not listening! Do you think you know more about the people you talk to than some internet troll?

      • Not a Cosmos fan, but If I’m being honest here, I can tell you that all my German relatives know the Cosmos the most. Galaxy is a distant number two.

        That being said, I’m not sure they fully understand the current state of the Cosmos – starting over in Hempstead

      • @ Brain Guy

        This is very true. As I mentioned in my first comment my extended family in Brazil would ask me how the Cosmos were doing even before they started fielding a team a couple years ago. I didn’t have the heart to explain to them that they had been on hiatus for the past 20 years and only just now play in the second division.

        I wish the two sides could figure it out somehow because it would definitely improve the leagues name recognition overseas and add eyeballs to TV viewership and that means bigger TV rights deals.

      • Some anecdotal evidence won’t “ruin my day” unlike the 4-1 thrashing your boys got at RBA, which ruined Hempstead fans’ entire year.

        My own anecdotal evidence, having lived abroad on multiple occasions is that I was never asked a single time about the Comsos ever by anyone. Plus, are we still harping on about Pele playing a few games 40 years ago for a team called Cosmos?

        Unless these Brazilian Cosmos fans are coming to Hempstead every week, it’s pretty irrelevant. Just like the current incarnation of the Cosmos.

      • Their owners want to spend $400 million to build a 25k seat stadium in the largest market in the US, but slowleftarm doesn’t think the Cosmos have brand value or relevance. I’m guessing the owners probably did more research on this issue than slow did.

      • No one cares about the Cosmos because you don’t?

        Seriously. See. This is just another reason why I was amazed that we agreed about something a week ago.

        Here’s some non-anecdotal indication that someone cares about the Cosmos. The sponsorship deals indicate that they have.

        The fact that the don’t appear to be paying One World to broadcast their product.

        I’m sure that there are some others if I really made an effort to think of them…

      • It’s not just me that doesn’t care about them. They are drawing about 4k per game since the “new” Cosmos were reborn.

        Who knows the details of their contract with that network no one watches or even gets? Other NASL clubs have sponsorship deals too. Does that mean they are big-time clubs? Bigger than MLS like Hempstead fanboys like to claim?

      • Name recognition is different than name value. Unless they are first division I don’t think it matters how widely known “Cosmos” is, it’s the name of a minor league team.

        However, unlike your average minor league team, I think the Cosmos name if associated with a first division team would have inherent cachet not associated with NYC or NYRB,

        Wandering back into why Cosmos aren’t in MLS, I think they expected a fee cut for the brand, and they were pushing their product very hard whether MLS wanted it or not. You look at the expansion choices and I think MLS likes running the show. So pushy is counterproductive and MLS wasn’t going to trim their price even for the brand name.

        I do think that with NYC in the league now, there is no hurry for a third team for maybe a decade or two. I also think no one’s going to be in a big hurry to help pony up for a white elephant minor league soccer stadium. When they were pushing MLS that’s an idea to latch onto. But a $400 million stadium for a minor league team is like asking to lose money.

      • Actually, their average this year has been 7K a game, but don’t let facts get in the way of an argument on the internet

      • Actually it’s 6200 and 4938 since the the season opening sellout. And under 5k last year.

        No matter how you slice it, it ain’t good.

      • “The Cosmos brand is far more valuable than any other MLS franchise at the moment.” looooooooooooool. Bro, theystruggle to get 5k a game.

      • Brother, MLS better pray they don’t get a SS stadium. Go to Flushing, and everyone will tell you. There’s only one team for Latinos, and that’s the Cosmos!

      • That brand is about as relevant as that old Member’s Only” jacket yer ol’ man wore in the 80’s. If they don’t start doing something soon…. Cosmos memories in Brazil will die with the aged minority that actually watched Pele play. In spite of my belittling, I actually DO want Cosmos to succeed. Although I admire the bravado and ambition in their words, it’s getting harder to see it happening, the bluster rings hollow as the divide between the image they peddle and reality grows.

        This is a harsh comparison as I do see effort on the clubs part, but…. I can’t help but see parallels in Cosmos and Pele whose destiny seem locked….. 2 aging, pudgy, former icons bursting the seams on their 1970s jersey begging for our attention… mostly by reminding us of decades ago past glories.

        I’d love nothing more than to have Pele and this brand maintain their dignity… I honestly DO hope Cosmos get their stadium and hope they make a deep run the tourney they’ve rested the hopes of the team on. It would certainly make US Soccer more interesting.

      • Do you think just once we could have a civil conversation without bad-mouthing Members Only Jackets?

        uncalled for

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