With team officials still optimistic about a proposal presented to Empire State Development Corp. (ESD), a New York Cosmos stadium plan on Long Island remains under consideration — with a decision reportedly near.
What’s being proposed, of course, is much more than just a soccer stadium: the $400-million privately financed Cosmos proposal for the Elmont Park site includes retail, restaurants, a 175-room hotel and park land, all next to a 25,000-seat stadium on a 36-acre site last used as a parking lot. The team is now looking at a 2017 opening, an opening postponed by the long time it’s taken ESD officials to make a decision on the four responses to the RFP, issued 18 months ago. But apparently a decision is near on the Elmont Park proposal:
“We . . . hope to announce a decision soon,” said Jason Conwall, a spokesman for the agency. “We want to be thorough and comprehensive.”
Of course, this may not mean anything, ESD officials told Newsday in August that a decision on the Cosmos stadium plan was imminent. And it could just be the impending start of the NASL season is causing ESD officials to look busy.
Some political heavyweights, including Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), support the Cosmos bid. Other political leaders oppose the proposal, saying the community needs parkland and a grocery store, not a soccer stadium. Presumably, with a $400-million stadium in play, the Cosmos would move to shift from NASL to MLS at some point.
The Cosmos currently play home games at Hofstra University.