MLS commissioner Don Garber has “set a time limit” on how long New York City has to approve a $300 million soccer stadium in a public park in Queens, or else he’ll take his expansion franchise and go elsewhere, according to the New York Daily News. And what is that time limit exactly?
“If we’re not successful we’ll throw our hands up, and it’ll be far sooner than three years we throw our hands up,” Garber said, after his opening season address.
“Then we’d take a step back and see if there’s another market. Three years is too long. I don’t want to put a year limit on it. But if it’s not making progress, the time will come. There’s a lot of activity in other markets.”
Okay, so not actually a time limit in the sense of having a set time, or a set limit. But he’s not going to wait forever! Because that’s not technically possible.
Meanwhile, the New York Cosmos not-actually-yet-even-a-minor-league-franchise, not to be upstaged by Monday’s leaked Queens MLS stadium renderings that really aren’t, released a whole friggin’ YouTube video of their own plans for a freaky-looking stadium at Belmont Park, complete with a remarkably large number of computer animated people cheering on a second-tier soccer club, plus old footage of Pele. Though if they really wanted attention, they should have gone with an even bolder choice of video producer.
Seamus O’Brien, part-owner of the New York Cosmos, has given an interview to Goal.com about how the team plans on building a $400 million soccer stadium complex on Long Island despite not having an actual team or major league to play in yet. (The new Cosmos are currently slated to begin play in the minor-league NASL next August.) Amid lots of corporate blather about building a strong business and how a new stadium would show they’re serious, there was this:
“Look, Long Island is a hot bed for soccer. There are soccer leagues, tens of thousands of kids are signed up. We’ve always felt that is our heartland.”
Which I guess is a nicer way of saying it than “We’d rather be in New York City, but this site was all we could get.” Except he said that too.
Given all the questions about how an actual MLS team in actual Queens would be able to afford a $300 million stadium there, it’s still hard to take this Cosmos plan seriously as much more than a cry for publicity. But hey, all the other kids are doing it, so why not?
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.