Cosmos still waiting for decision on Belmont Stadium

No news is usually good news, but in the case of the Cosmos proposed Belmont stadium, any news would be welcome.

"We really don't have any new news," Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said when asked about the stadium during the team's media day in New York City. "We're very confident we've put forth the best bid of anybody that submitted a bid to this [request for proposal]."

In early 2013 the Cosmos submitted a $400 million proposal to the Empire State Development Corporation that included a 25,000-seat soccer stadium, 175-room hotel, retail stores, restaurants and a park. The entire project would be privately funded.

Other proposals include retail, restaurant and parks, but Stover does not feel they offer the same benefit that the "Elmont Town Crossing" project does.

"The last thing that region needs is another strip mall," Stover said. "We're delivering a project that is double the size of construction. Double the economic impact. Double the job creation, whether it's with construction or full time jobs after the projects completed. All of that without any tax payer money.

"So we feel very good about. We're just waiting for the process to unfold and unfortunately I don't have any new news on that."

A Newsday report in March suggested a decision could be handed down soon, but since then things have been quiet.

One big question if the Cosmos project is selected; can they fill up a 25,000-seat stadium? The Cosmos average home attendance last season was just 6,859, with their largest crowd coming in the team's first game after a 30 year hiatus.

Being part of the NASL, a second tier soccer league in the United States, also adds to that question. But Stover does not see it that way.

"We don't look at ourselves as second division in anyway," he explained. "We said from the begging since we've taken over this project that we want to be at the top of the pyramid in the United States. We believe strongly that we can do that. Any team in any sport if they're going to be successful financially, successful on the pitch, front office, commercially needs their own stadium."

And Stover believes the new stadium would put the Cosmos over the top in making the team even more successful.

"If we do what we plan to do it will be the best stadium in the United States for soccer," Stover said. "Probably for all of North America. It will be a huge step forward for us putting the Cosmos back on the top. Without question we'll be able to recruit a team that would be on par with the Cosmos of the late 70s. We're taking the calls already. We just need to have everything in place for us to take those steps forward."

For now Stover and the rest of the Cosmos organization is just being patient until New York makes a decision on the property. You can find out more about the proposed stadium here.

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