By RYAN TOLMICH
For nearly three years, the New York Cosmos have been left waiting for a resolution to their stadium proposal, and it appears that state labor groups are becoming equally impatient.
Mario Cilento, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, has urged Empire State Development president Howard Zemsky to get cracking on the Cosmos’ Belmont stadium proposal sooner rather than later.
“On behalf of 2.5 million working men and women in New York State,” Cilento wrote in a letter addressed to Zemsky, “and in solidarity with the Long Island Federation of Labor, I urge you to support New York Cosmos’s response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to develop land at the Belmont Park in Elmont.
“I respectfully request you act as swiftly as possible in approving this project,” Cilento continued, “and by doing so, assure the local community and the team itself that New York is committed to the Cosmos. I appreciate your time and consideration to this important and timely project. The NYS AFL-CIO stands ready to assist in any way we can to help make this a success.”
The state-run battle to redevelop the site has taken much longer than the Cosmos had anticipated, as a bidder was supposed to be selected in 2013 before seeing the choice pushed back another year.
In the process, the Cosmos have been left playing the waiting game as the franchise continues to pull for a stadium in the Belmont location. As of July, the Cosmos were reportedly prepared to explore other options if the state did not offer a resolution to the team’s $400 million Belmont proposal.
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