NYCFC vs Islanders, Battling For Belmont Site
Several years ago it was the New York Cosmos attempting to persuade The New York State Empire State Development Corp, to allow the NASL team to build a soccer stadium adjacent to Belmont Race Track. (not that they could ever afford the project)
And, now, its the New York Islanders who want to build a hockey arena there, while NYCFC is trying to relocate out of Yankee Stadium and to build a soccer stadium at Belmont.
I wonder if either organization can afford the costs.
In the case of NYCFC, what happened to their mantra that their new stadium must be within the NYC limits? And, in the case of the Islanders, could their campaign to build at Belmont really be a ploy to try and re-negotiate a better lease for themselves at the Barclay Center?https://nypost.com/2017/12/10/details-on-belmont-park-revamp-plans-revealed/
While you do seem to have an endless supply of information, in the form of links to news stories published elsewhere, I'm not sure you have any idea at all whether or not the Cosmos could have afforded to build a stadium in Elmont. In fact, no one will ever know for sure, and here's why:
The Cosmos ownership had a choice when it was decided that they would be re-starting the team: did they want to throw their investment capital into paying the MLS entrance/expansion fee, or, instead, invest that money into building their own stadium and entering into a league where they had more control of their own financial destiny?
Somewhat ironically, if the Cosmos ever had any intention or aspiration to join MLS in the future, they would have needed to build a stadium anyway, as having one is a requirement for entry into MLS in the first place.
At this point, it should be mentioned that the MLS had a vested interest in stopping the Cosmos from building this stadium. First, having a stadium, especially one so close to the Queens border, would threaten any plans for a new stadium build that would benefit MLS directly - i.e., one for their new expansion club, NYCFC. Secondly, any success derived by the Cosmos and/or NASL from the existence of the stadium would only serve to dilute the dominance that MLS has over the sport in the U.S.
Thus, once it became evident that the Cosmos' plans were actually gaining traction, political lobbyists with MLS interests began to pressure local politicians to vote against the building of a stadium at the proposed site. The most notable of these was a Nassau County legislator from Elmont named CarriÃ© Solages, who has recently been in the news for a domestic violence arrest related to a dispute over missing marijuana. Presumably, with Solage's support, which, presumably, came in the form of, shall we say, "financial contributions" provided by the aforementioned MLS lobbyists, a political action coalition sprang up in Elmont to demonstrate against the proposed stadium. Apparently, there were quality of life concerns for the area residents related to the increased traffic and crime that would result from having a stadium on the site - somewhat odd, given that the site itself is a parking lot at a horse racing track, which kind of implies that there will be a lot of cars and degenerate gambling anyway. Also, with no disrespect to Elmont, it isn't exactly an idyllic landscape to begin with. The community could have benefited from the jobs and local businesses that were part of the proposal.
In any event, the stadium obviously never got built, and the rest is history. In a very hypocritical fashion, MLS now thinks that having a stadium built on the site is a great idea. It will be interesting to see if the same amount of "anti-build" rhetoric from the local politicians and residents manifests itself this time around. No doubt that it won't. From what I have read, it appears that the Cosmos could have financially pulled off a plan to build their stadium, had more powerful forces, in the form of MLS, not actively worked to undermine them. If the Cosmos had been successful, their franchise, the NASL as a whole, and the state of the sport in the U.S. could be entirely different right now.https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2016/07/cosmos-elmont-stadium-proposal-draws-backlash/https://prorelforusa.blogspot.com/2015/03/was-mls-behind-sabotaging-cosmos.htmlhttp://longisland.news12.com/story/...d-her-of-hiding-marijuana-before-assault