Why are the Cosmos looking to build a stadium at Belmont Park?
Who are the Cosmos?
Where is the stadium site?
How much will the development cost?
Who is paying for the stadium?
How large will the stadium be?
What about the retail and restaurant aspect of the site?
What’s the timeline for the project?
How many days a year will the stadium host events?
What kinds of games will be hosted at the stadium?
How will the stadium be used in the offseason?
Will there be enough parking?
What will the impact be on the surrounding community and local residents?
Q: Why are the Cosmos looking to build a stadium at Belmont Park?
A: Having evaluated a wide array of potential sites in the New York area, when the state issued a "request for proposal" we immediately realized that Belmont Park was too good of an opportunity to miss. The Cosmos believe that Belmont Park provides an excellent venue – already zoned for major sporting events, with access to public transportation, vast potential for job growth, both in construction and retail, and the addition of a major sports team to the New York metropolitan region.
Q: Who are the Cosmos?
A: The New York Cosmos are one of the most iconic clubs in American soccer, and with the likes of Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Johan Neeskens, have featured some of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
On Aug. 3, 2013, the New York Cosmos returned to the North American Soccer League (NASL) with a sellout win at Shuart Stadium, before embarking on a season that would see the Cosmos win the 2013 Soccer Bowl with a 1-0 victory against the Atlanta Silverbacks on Nov. 9, 2013 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
The Cosmos are reigning champions of the NASL, having captured their second league title in three seasons and seventh overall on Nov. 15, 2015 with a 3-2 win over Ottawa Fury FC in The Championship Final at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.
Raúl and Marcos Senna, legends at famed Spanish sides Real Madrid and Villarreal CF, each suited up in Cosmos colors for modern era championship runs, adding their names to the impressive list of global soccer stars to feature at the club.
Q: Where is the stadium site?
A: The stadium will be built on the southernmost parking lot of Belmont Park, bordering the Cross Island Parkway on the west and Hempstead Turnpike at the north. It will connect over Hempstead Turnpike to retail, restaurants and a hotel via a pedestrian overpass.
Q: Who is paying for the stadium?
A: The Cosmos and its ownership will secure the entire cost of the stadium as well as investing additional money for soccer fields in the community. There is no cost to taxpayers.
Q: How large will the stadium be?
A: The land south of Hempstead Turnpike is 28 acres. The stadium can hold 25,000 attendees and will have a two-story retail center with up to three levels of underground parking.
Q: What about the retail and restaurant aspect of the site?
A: Retail and restaurants will include a 60,000-square foot “Restaurant Row” for nine eateries, and nearly 370,000 total square feet of retail and entertainment space, including shopping and a movie theater.
Q: What’s the timeline for the project?
A: If approved the stadium is expected to be completed just over a year after shovels break ground, with the field being installed and stadium opening early the following year. Retail establishments are expected to open prior to the field installation and stadium opening.
Q: What kinds of games will be hosted at the stadium?
A: In addition to all Cosmos home games, we will be a potential venue for other world class soccer matches, including World Cup qualifying matches for the U.S. Men's and Women's national teams, the U.S. Olympic Team and NCAA games. We also anticipate the stadium will host exhibition matches featuring renowned international teams.
Q: How will the stadium be used in the offseason?
A: The Cosmos plan to open up the stadium to local sports teams, including those from Elmont Memorial High School, providing them with a first-rate, safe place to practice and play. The retail and restaurants will be open year round.
Q: Will there be enough parking?
A: Belmont Park has extensive parking which together with new underground facilities will accommodate both the stadium and NYRA events. There will be both ground level and underground parking. Additionally, Belmont is accessible by LIRR and bus service.
Q: What will the impact be on the surrounding community and local residents?
A: Most importantly we will keep local residents and the community in mind at all times when developing the proposal. It contains numerous features, including a foot bridge over Hempstead Turnpike to limit automotive traffic. The stadium also will have a downward slope from west to east, so its profile will be no higher than 30 feet along the residential perimeter. Additionally, the Cosmos have pledged to invest $2.5 million for community soccer fields and notably, the creation of a brand new 1.2 acre park.