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Labor group pushes for Cosmos stadium resolution

New York Cosmos Stadium (NY Cosmos)



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.

What do you think of the latest Cosmos stadium news? What do you expect to happen with the Belmont project?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The Cosmos are Americas only global soccer brand known the world over. I tis time to build them a soccer stadium especial since they are funding a huge portion of the project. Our legacy for our children rest in the hands of politician greased by MLS lobbyist.

  2. Which is it, they draw less than 4000 or average 6200. Is the supposed sellout of 12000 largely skewing the average attendance? Do people really not know the Cosmos exist in NYC? Or is this a message board where teuth is not important just opinions, grammar and the occassional visit from FRANK IN ALL CAPS?

  3. For those that don’t live in NY.

    The cosmos are irrelevant in the NY sports scene, they are a minor league team. They draw 4,000 fans to their games at Hofstra University.

    There is no major newspaper that covers the team, No local TV coverage on regular TV, the sports media does not cover the team at all, most people don’t know they exist.

    The excuse that the cosmos can’t draw at Hofstra is a bunch of crap.

    @RichCimini: More than 11,000 at Jets’ practice at Hofstra. Drew more fans than the Green & White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium.

    11,000 for a practice and the cosmos can’t draw 4,000 to a game. The fans are there for soccer they just don’t want to watch a minor league team.

    The state of NY will never approve a stadium to be built for the cosmos , why would the state allow a minor league team to build a stadium in very valuable land when it has no fans and will be inthe minor leagues for the foreseeable future.

  4. The MLS snobs (how is that for an oxymoron) mocking the turf field is laughable. last I checked…Seattle, Portland, Toronto, New England, Orlando(?), Vancouver and Montreal all play on turf (if I am not mistaken, the next two expansion teams will as well) while NYC plays on a miniature baseball field so enough from the glass house lot. By the way, in many ways the Cosmos are good for soccer if not just because they lend a recognition and credibility to the second tier of soccer in the US. Now if the MLS could just man up, affiliate with the NASL and add promotion/ relegation we would be on to something (I acknowledge it is just a pipe dream), but until MLS makes late season games between bottom feeders in the table relevant, they will never get to the next level.

  5. the cosmos as a minor league team are irrelevant and the brand is old at this point. They are 2nd division in a top sports market with 2 MLS teams already. They only get 3000 to games at a turf lacrosse field. They could not use a new larger stadium – it would be empty.

    If they were smart they would have joined MLS and then it may have worked.

    • Cosmos are actually averaging over 6200 a game this year. Their home opener got over 12,500. They won the NSAL’s Super Bowl in 2013 and won the Spring season this year — so if NASL is relevant to US soccer, then Cosmos surely are. They also beat NYCFC in the US Open Cup this year in a sellout at home. The current sqaud features little-known Spanish player Raul and European Championship winner Marcos Senna, amongst others. They just played the Cuban National team in front of 18,000 fans in Cuba — the first time a US professional sports team has played there since 1999 and the first US soccer team since 1978. Their Belmont stadium proposal, if accepted, would result in the largest soccer specific stadium in New York State and create thousands of jobs. Seems pretty “relevant” to me. I recall folks wondering how the NYCFC start up would get fans to show up for a new team at a baseball stadium. That seems to be going well. Cosmos are trying to forge a different path. How successful it will be in the long run remains to be seen, but they clearly meet the relevancy test.

  6. For $400 million I would love them to buy Red Bull and rebrand them. Or they can continue playing on that field with the big H behind crowds of 2 or 3 thousand. I don’t think many fans like the Red Bull corporation so it would be welcomed.

  7. One can draw 2 conclusions about the Cosmos at this point:

    1) They are using this boondoggle stadium plan in the burbs as some sort of desperate bargaining chip with MLS. They believe it would make their weak position stronger (which it would not) to get into the league with their brand-rights intact.

    2) Their management and owners are on the LIRR’s crazy train.

  8. replies

    briank and we the people – i am with you. i think that to many fans, the connection between past and present for sounders, whitecaps, earthquakes, timbers is very REAL. and i could not agree more (just my opinion) that we the people is right – the cosmos is the last piece to this puzzle and we need them in mls!

    stadium taking too long? ask metro stars fans who probably waited what, ten years? dc is STILL waiting, yes? you cant fault the cosmos for this, i think.

    by the way, before cosmos revival, people would have a similar conversation about the rochester raging rhinos, because they have their own beautiful stadium and we all wanted it to be in mls, yes?

  9. Perhaps more than any other organization, the Cosmos are responsible for bringing soccer to America. And the brand was then exported around the globe. Come on, people, this has value.

    • i agree, peeps, and when the cosmos come to your town (like a soccer version of harlem globetrotters), they should stay for at least three days. bring their u-16 team, put on some clinics. culminate with a pretty good exhibition game against local opposition (of whatever kind, probably amateur league). they can do mad grassroots activations and introduce soccer to a whole new generation of kids. imo that’s what the cosmos can do the best.

      • You don’t need to introduce kids to soccer these days. You are talking the 1970s where in some ways the Cosmos belong.

        I hope the Cosmos thrive, but your comments are ridiculous. Soccer in the US is crushing it and growing by huge leaps continuously.

    • The old Cosmos certainly helped. This latest incarnation doesn’t matter. Soccer in the US was growing before this team started two years ago and it’s growing just as fast now. They’re irrelevant.

      • The Cosmos matter.
        W/o the Cosmos your boy Hercules would still be in Mexico.
        W/o the Cosmos there would be no ManCity reserve team in NYC.
        W/o the Cosmos Haji and Velela would be stuck in crapy mls contracts.
        W/o the Cosmos the heavens and the stars would fall from the sky.
        The Cosmos matter.
        Support your local independent soccer clubs!

  10. Pretty meaningless endorsement. Labor endorses most of these big construction proposals, since their members stand to gain jobs – the most vocal supporters of the failed NYCFC stadium proposal at Flushing Meadows was also a group of labor unions. AFL-CIO may not have much leverage with Cuomo anyway. Bottom line is it’s ridiculously tough to build in NY, and as a minor-league franchise with a small fanbase the Cosmos don’t really have much pull.

  11. Literally they have just sat there and spun their wheels and done NOTHING. It took the Manhattan Project less time to split the atom and build two different bombs than it’s taken these clowns to sit down, have themselves a meeting, and decide what they’re going to do with this motherhuge parking lot that’s sitting there right now growing weeds.

  12. American soccer needs the Cosmos in the top division. They are our country’s biggest club brand that the rest of the world knows. Restoring it is one of the last pieces of the puzzle to soccer’s emergence here.

    • Nah, they are one of the last remaining vestiges of a failed league. Actually, the current club has no real relationship with the defunct NASL failure that Pele played for. They just appropriated the name in an attempt to capitalize on nostalgia.

      People around the rest of the world couldn’t care less. MLS has succeeded where NASL failed and its clubs will become more well known as the league, and US Soccer, continues to improve.

      • Please see my comment above. Tell the Sounder, whitecaps, Timbers and Earthquakes that they are “vestiges of a failed league.” That is laughable.

      • Don’t sweat Mr. Slow, he’s an anti NASL troll on everything. But he supports soccer in NJ so he isn’t all bad.

      • At least those teams kept playing in the meantime. Simply having the same name as the defunct NASL failure doesn’t mean anything. It’s a fake team playing in a college lacrosse stadium in LI. And no one should be nostalgic for the old NASL – MLS has already accomplished far more for soccer in this country than that failure ever did.

      • “No real relationship?” The crest is the same, the colors are the same, they play at a stadium they used to play at, the team embraces its history in all relevant ways, Pele, Beckerbauer, Carlos Alberto and other former players go to games and are presented on the field. If you mean they have different owners, that’s true. But the Yankees have had a number of different owners also. If you mean they were defunct for a while, that’s true. Its also irrelevant. Its still the same club. “Appropriation” implies something illegal or unusual. This isn’t. There is an unbroken chain of ownership. No, they are not the high-flying culturally impactful team of yesteryear. But sports teams ebb and flow all the time — the CBS owned Yankees were terrible for years. You don’t like them yourself. That’s fine, naturally. But don’t make it about something that is clearly wrong.

      • There is zero continuity between the old Cosmos and the new Cosmos. This is like claiming that the current Cleveland Browns are the same franchise as the old Cleveland Browns.

    • Cosmos in MLS is dumb for three reasons.

      One, they don’t want to be in MLS. MLS is running a league, a parity league, a “fair” league. The Cosmos don’t want anything to do with that. They want to be the big money, repeat winners, big club Euro style.

      Two, there are already two teams in MLS in NY. Not saying they couldn’t support 3 teams in NY, saying it won’t happen.

      Three, that ship has sailed. Start rooting for merging leagues which would be much more realistic event happening at this point.

  13. I am not trying to take a political stand, I don’t care about all that much, I just care about soccer.

    But the Long Island Federation of Labor supporting a response to an RFP from the Empire State Development Corporation?

    Whatever it takes. Get your stadium Cosmos and good luck with the red tape there.

  14. Never understood where Cosmos get all their pull from. The see to have surprising support at the grass roots and corporate/public suits. They don’t really have much of a product just a crazy strong brand.

    • “They don’t really have much of a product just a crazy strong brand.” — Well,…I would say they have a decent product and a CRAZY strong brand. As Bruce has Arena has pointed out,…MLS has come a long way in 20 years. The biggest blunder was not immediately recycling the great brands from the NASL. What I would have paid to be in the room with those clown consultants (who were paid!) to up with names like Clash, Burn, Wiz, Mutiny, Metrostars!

      If NASL got one thing right in the 1970s,…it was brands,…Cosmos, Whitecaps, Sounders, Earthquakes, Timbers, Aztecs, Sidekicks, Roughnecks, Rowdies, Strikers to name a few. The irony is that the MLS-reborn Sounders, Whitecaps, Timbers and Earthquakes are leading the way as clubs. The irony of ironies,…is that the THE strongest brand was left behind! For what? A measly $3M? What did they pay those fvckwhit consultants? A real pity. And if that wasn’t bad enough,…now there is bad blood between MLS and Cosmos. Sad, sad, sad.

      • In all fairness, hindsight is 20/20. At the founding of the league, $3 mil would have been a deal breaker. They launched the league by the skin of their teeth.

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