A push by the New York City Cosmos for a new Elmont stadium and adjacent development has drawn backlash for area residents, who protested the proposal on Saturday.
The Cosmos are seeking to place a privately funded $400,000 development at Belmont Park that would include a 25,000 seat soccer stadium, plus a mixed-use space that includes retail, lodging, restaurant, and entertainment spaces. The proposal is one of several that is being mulled by the Empire State Development corporation, which owns the 28-acre land parcel that borders the Cross Island Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike.
While the proposal has been on the table for several years–the Cosmos first submitted a bid in February 2013–some residents are turning up their opposition to the proposal. Concerns from the residents of Elmont–mainly that the stadium will offer little community benefit, while increasing traffic, noise, and crime–are issues that have been expressed in many areas where stadiums are to built. Still, the protest on Saturday–which attracted more than 20 people–came with the backing of some community leaders and elected officials. More from Newsday:
Tammie Williams, a community organizer with the Parkhurst Civic Association in Elmont who helped coordinate Saturday’s rally, said a huge soccer stadium is a poor fit for a residential neighborhood. Homes are directly east of the proposed site.
“It’s a very quiet side of town,” Williams said. “People want to keep it that way. Putting a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in front of people’s homes is just crazy.”
Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages (D-Elmont) told protesters that the stadium would completely transform the surrounding area.
“If a 25,000-seat stadium were to be constructed, it would completely overshadow this community and decimate their quality of life,” he said.
The other proposals for the site reportedly include recreational and retail opportunities. The Cosmos have included those elements in their bid, which also features a 1.2-acre park and a $3 million fund for a community center and fields.
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