Erik Stover Answers Your Questions on the Belmont Proposal
After the Cosmos announced that they had submitted a proposal for a soccer stadium at Belmont Park, some fans had questions about the project. So we asked our fans on twitter if they had any questions and Cosmos COO, Erik Stover has done his best to answer them here:
Send us any questions you may have about our proposed Belmont project we'll answer them on nycosmos.com later this week.
— The New York Cosmos (@TheNYCosmos) January 16, 2013
Q: That area is already so congested & there's not much parking. Isn't that going to be a big problem? (@byrontreece)
Erik Stover: There will be ample parking. The design for our project currently features an underground parking structure that will be up to three stories tall. On top of that, there are thousands of parking spaces used to accommodate NYRA events at the Belmont Raceway.
Q: Is there anything that could prevent this from happening? (@JoeBacci)
ES: We submitted an economic development proposal to the state of New York in response to the state's "request for proposals". The proposal still has to be approved by the Empire State Development Corporation. We are hopeful of receiving an answer within 90 days.
Q: Is the proposal contingent on any promises from MLS that you will be brought into the league as NYC2/MLS20? (@Zone_14)
ES: At this moment, we are 100% focused on being a successful NASL team.
Q: With such rich tradition, will the new stadium have a Cosmos museum/hall of fame? (@pschwartzcbsfan)
ES: Great question. The proposal that we submitted does include a Cosmos museum.
Q: Will the stadium be used for other events such as concerts and other Sports? (@James_Lowe69)
ES: We hope to host events 30-50 days a year. That would include all Cosmos home games and hopefully national team games or international friendlies. In our proposal, we've also laid out our desire for local high schools to take advantage of these facilities.
Q: Can you give us a DEFINITIVE answer on what the Belmont stadium means for the Cosmos' MLS prospects? And what sort of role the NASL (and by extension the Cosmos) is going to have in the American soccer pyramid going forward? Do you really expect 20,000 people a game for NASL soccer in the current system, w/ no promotion and the Open Cup the only path to int'l success? (@MGHeinz)
ES: We are completely focused on being successful in the NASL. We are already seeing the NASL growing rapidly with new investors and new clubs. Further, we expect to field a team that will feature comparable talent as MLS franchises in a few short years. So yes, we do expect to draw well.
As we've said in the past, our goal has always remained to play soccer at the highest levels in this country.
Q: Why would you build it somewhere without NYC subway access? (@ckerst)
ES: We feel that the proposed location is very accessible. It is bordered by two major highways and the Long Island Railroad goes right there from Penn Station and the LIRR is planning a new tunnel to connect with Grand Central. In addition there are bus lines that service the location.