The New York Cosmos, one of the country’s most recognized soccer franchises, has proposed construction of a $400-million privately funded stadium at Belmont Park in Elmont, according to an area state senator.
The plan, submitted Friday in response to a State Economic Development request for proposal, also includes a hotel, restaurants, retail stores and a public park, according to Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola).
That’s all very exciting, except for the fact that 1) this Cosmos is not the old Cosmos, but rather a minor-league franchise that bought the name and which still hasn’t managed to actually field a team after more than two years of trying; 2) it’s pretty unlikely MLS would approve a franchise for Nassau County when it’s already working on a new team for neighboring Queens, and it’s even more unlikely that the Cosmos could afford to build a stadium while playing in the NASL, as SI soccer writer Grant Wahl seems to think is possible; 3) $400 million?!?
What looks to be going on here is that Sen. Martins is heading up a campaign to find some additional development that can be built on a pair of excess parking lots at the race track, so that the state (which owns the track) can make some extra money off it. So the guys who run the Cosmos figured, sure, let’s throw our hat in the ring — at worst, we get our name in the paper, and at best, maybe somebody decides to throw some state money at us for this. First mission accomplished, anyway.