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NYCFC unveils Belmont Stadium proposal, still active with other venues

On May 21, 2013, New York City FC was christened by Major League Soccer with an agreement to play their home matches at Yankee Stadium, the home of Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, with a mandate to secure a soccer specific stadium in the future.

Over four and a half years later, NYCFC has unveiled its first detailed stadium proposal on the grounds at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York just outside the New York City limits on Long Island.  Also presenting at the public hearing on Sunday were the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League who have a strong desire to break their current lease with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

For NYCFC, there are other viable venues targeted for a soccer specific stadium – Harlem River Yards, Willets Point and a nine-acre site near Yankee Stadium. The club is still active in formulating plans and negotiating with those factions and the City. NYCFC officials have repeatedly suggested that a position in one of the five boroughs would be ideal to establish a home in proximity to a majority of its fan base. Meanwhile, Islanders co-owner Jonathan Ledecky claims that the team has “blinders on for Belmont.”

The NYCFC redevelopment plan for Belmont Park includes a 26,000 seat stadium adjacent to the Long Island Railroad station and a pedestrian bridge across the Hempstead Turnpike to link the stadium to a 400,000 square foot entertainment and retail center. There would be 1,500 parking spaces, a 5.2-acre park plus a 2-acre soccer facility that would include eight fields managed by City Football Group partner, Goals Soccer Centres (Goals).

Compared to the Islanders plan, the NYCFC proposal redevelops nearly twice the acreage although the Islanders claim they will establish 400 more permanent jobs with their blueprint. Members of the Elmont community have expressed concerns about substantial traffic. With just 17 regular season home matches compared to 41 games for the Islanders, NYCFC officials suggest there would be far less congestion in the municipality.

Both NYCFC and the Islanders agree that there is no feasible plan that could include both franchises at Belmont Park which opened in 1905 and is the home to the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.


  1. I honestly don’t see any way the state doesn’t give the project to the Islanders. I just feel there’s a lot of political pressure behind this, and the NHL and the Isles’ owners have probably made it clear that the franchise will walk without Belmont. Nassau already made a debacle out of the Coliseum…a $165 million paint job that solved none of the structural issues and precludes the Islanders from returning. I don’t see the state wanted to lose an iconic hockey franchise. NYCFC will have to wait. Just my gut.

    • Agreed. The Belmont rights will go to the Islanders. NYCFC has always said that there are a couple of other locations they are pursuing, so I’m not even sure they really want to win the right to build at Belmont. It’s not in NYC and not near a subway, so it’s really not what they’ve said they’re looking for.

      The fact that the Islanders arena will host more events than a NYCFC stadium is a big advantage, not to mention the Islanders’ history.

  2. Can’t say I love the Belmont idea. Just the LIRR and no subway? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Elmont FC! And Willets Point sorta blows too. I say set them in the Boogie Bronx…the south Bronx (river yards) could really use the love. And the Yankee stadium site could work too as it has easy subway access. It would be so good to finally settle this once and for all.

  3. So NYCFC has hijacked the old Cosmos plan. Fascinating. Last time Elmont kept the plan on the shelf so long the original Cosmos owners died of old age before they heard back from the city. (Slight exaggeration…actually I think it was the Cosmos and NASL that died. Again.)

    The city had seriously better make up its mind this time, whatever.


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