Erik Stover Named COO of New York Cosmos
The New York Cosmos today named Erik Stover as the club’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all facets of the operation on and off the field. Stover is a 16-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry having held senior management positions with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (Giants Stadium and IZOD Center) and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Most recently, he was the Managing Director of Red Bull New York, a flagship team in Major League Soccer.
While working for the Red Bulls, Stover oversaw the construction and operation of Red Bull Arena, a $200 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium in Harrison, N.J. He also successfully recruited international soccer superstar Thierry Henry to come to MLS in July of 2010. When Stover left the Red Bulls in August of 2011, they had risen from the bottom of MLS in attendance to No. 4, which included a 150 percent increase in season ticket holders. For his accomplishments, he was honored with the 2010 MLS Executive of the Year Award.
“With his knowledge of the local community, combined with a deep experience in soccer, stadium management and the sports and entertainment industry, Erik has the perfect credentials to lead the management of the Cosmos franchise. We are delighted to have him on board and look forward to working with him day to day as we retrace our journey back to the top of soccer in North America," said Cosmos Chairman Seamus O’Brien.
"I'm excited to be part of the rebirth of the New York Cosmos,” said Stover. “Seamus O'Brien and the rest of the board have a vision to build a proper soccer club in New York. We have a great legacy to live up to and I'm eager to get started right away."
The Cosmos, retracing their historic journey to the top of North American soccer, will return to the field in 2013 at their historic home, Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, L.I. The club, which announced in July that they had joined the North American Soccer League (NASL), first played at Hofstra in the original NASL in their second and third years of existence -- 1972 and 1973. James M. Shuart Stadium boasts a seating capacity of more than 13,000.
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Cosmos, an iconic global soccer brand, have played in a professional league. Yet throughout their absence, the club has maintained a loyal and dedicated fan following.
The New York Cosmos began play in 1971, spending fourteen seasons in the earlier NASL, winning five Soccer Bowl trophies and bringing some of the biggest names in world soccer history to North America. The Cosmos last won the NASL Soccer Bowl in 1982.