Cosmos Exploring Alternatives to Shuart Stadium in 2017

James M. Shuart Stadium

by JAKE NUTTING

While Cosmos Country is waiting with bated breath to find out if the New York Cosmos will win the bid to build their proposed soccer specific stadium on the Belmont site, the team is exploring the real possibility of moving on from Shuart Stadium next season.

Cosmos COO Erik Stover disclosed to Neil Morris on the Inverted Triangle Podcast Thursday night that the possibility of moving on to a new temporary home while they wait to build their own stadium is coming closer to reality every day.

“[Returning to Shuart] is getting less and less likely as everyday goes by,” Stover told Morris. “The challenges there are very significant. Just scheduling the regular season is almost impossible. We had to play two games in Brooklyn last year at a minor league baseball stadium, not a bad stadium at all, but Brooklyn and this part of Nassau County are two very different places… The feedback, the research we’ve done with our fans, they don’t really like [Shuart]. I mean it’s not bad, but it’s not what they envisioned us being in long term.

“So the challenges are serious. Our team plays very attractive soccer which is difficult to do on this field. We are looking for an alternative.”

The main obstacle to the Cosmos leaving Shuart up until this point has been the lack of viable options that meet the requirements necessary for fan experience and the division standards set by U.S. Soccer.

However, the team’s search for a new venue in the near future has received an assist from an unlikely sourse — NASL expansion side Rayo OKC. The newcomer has implemented a relatively new turf system at its home facility that allows them to cover up unsightly American football lines for gamedays and also provides a better playing surface than the one already installed.

“I spoke to [Rayo OKC Managing Partner Brad Lund] about it, he said he liked it very much, league officials have said the same,” Stover said. “I’ve talked to players that have played on it and some of them have said it’s among the best synthetic fields they’ve ever played on, and they were very concerned and skeptical going into it.”

The system in question is from a Canadian company called Nexxfield, and it allows teams to lay rectangular panels of artificial turf on top of an existing surface. The panels are connected using a system of Velcro strips. As hard as that last point may be to believe, the Nexxfield does meet or exceed many of the requirements from FIFA for artificial surfaces.

The feasibility of Nexxfield is something that Stover says the Cosmos will be researching closely over the year as they determine their next move, but it’s already opened up sites that previously seemed to be non-starters, such as their current training facility Mitchell Field or even Fordham University’s facility.

“We train at Mitchell Field, we have a very good relationship with the county executive and the workers here at Nassau County,” Stover said. “It’s approximately a 10,000 seat stadium with a track around it. We don’t necessarily like the track, and it has American football lines, soccer lines, lacrosse lines, logos, you name it. It’s not even a good field to practice on, let alone play on. But now you put [Nexxfield] on top of it, you can widen the field. It looks only like a soccer field. That puts Mitchell Field into the discussion, and it opens up the discussion for Brooklyn again. It opens up the discussion for places like Fordham. So to have that option, to be able in a relatively affordable way to put a field out and take it out within a 24 hour to 36 hour window, and have it be better than the surface it goes on top of is pretty revolutionary.”

  • slowleftarm

    Someone let Cosmos fans know this isn’t necessary. According to angry Bill/EPL fan their new stadium is going to be approved any day now.

    • Smith

      But why do you care so much ? why do you feel the need to comment ? You really need an imaginary friend. You need anger management classes.

      • slowleftarm

        I don’t care. But why do you care about my comments so much?

        • Smith

          Because I care!

        • Mel

          I think we’re all just wondering why YOU care so much about the Cosmos. You’re far too dedicated to just be a troll. You are legitimately obsessed and the degree to which you are disturbs everyone else on the comments board.

          • slowleftarm

            Wow it must be difficult going through life when you are disturbed this easily. So we have some people on here complaining I post too often and others bashing me for not being on here enough. All in the same day – I guess you can’t please everyone!

        • Hernando Peralta

          Because Smith is a real a$$hole, full time.

  • The rock

    Hopefully cosmos get the stadium and let nycfc play there while they get their stadium. (On the good side, but garber won’t let that happen)
    If cosmos don’t get the stadium, god knows what happens next to them but if u ask me, nasl has gotten a break.
    MLS will not take away teams from nasl for a long period of time, unless Indy11 makes a strong push but so far nasl has a positive future.
    If nasl can reach 20 teams and stay stable, and half of the teams get a proper stadium, then it will be a pretty good league.

  • Not Erik Stover

    Never Understood why Icahn Stadium is never considered. It holds 5,000 currently but could certainly be expanded with temporary seating. (2) they hold the Cosmos Copa games there so there is already a relationship. (3) Easily accessible from LI, NYC and NJ by car. (4) They now have a solution to their filed issues.

    • Bonk

      1.) Brooklyn
      2.) ?
      3.) Icahn
      4.) Hofstra

  • new2soccer

    Dear Cosmos fans,

    We know that building the stadium (that nobody asked for) in the boonies out on Long Island is an idea so terrible it must be great! Our partners in their senility have decided that not only will we proceed with the boondoggle stadium (one that other boondoggles have requested apologies for even being mentioned in the same sentence), but we will bore you all to tears for years by leaving Hofstra for some Middle-School field somewhere noone will be able to find. Never fear, Pele will appear (via Skype) and remember we are the most recognized soccer brand from the late-70’s/early-80’s in the world!

    • new2trolling

      Not a bad start. Pretty long and bitter. But a bit disorganized and sloppy. Please take a bit more time in the future to produce a finished product.

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    Why not Citi Field? If NYCFC can draw 25000 plastic fans to yankee stadium consistantly certainly the most famous brand in north american soccer history could draw more than that in citi field. come on stover put your money where your mouth is!

    yeah thats right it’ll never happen becasue the f.cosmos wouldnt have any lame excuses as to why they can only draw 3000 knuckleheads to their matches.

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      whats the matter? no fanboys have a reponse to this. reality is a bitch aint it. new yorks only truly authentic independent football club should consistantly draw crowds of 30000 to citi filed. so why wont the f.cosmos make the move? it should be a slam dunk.

      #MOVETHETEAMTOCITIFIELD

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  • OpenCupFan

    This is great news b/c it makes many previously undesirable locations viable now. I never minded Hofstra as a short term solution, but have been disappointed by its inability to work with the Cosmos ove the last two years – yet another Sunday game this weekend.
    .
    In year five, it is time for another option – doesn’t have to be perfect yet, but can’t be an unreliable partner like Hofstra has become.
    .
    Even students dont stay at Hofstra more than four years.
    .
    Support your local INDEPENDENT soccer CLUBS!
    .
    And don’t forget #ProRelforUSA week – check the hashtag for deets…………….

    • Jeff

      Or just support your local club in general. Don’t understand why it has to be independent.

      • slowleftarm

        opencupfan is also a hypocrite because he has no connection to NYC, so he isn’t even supporting his “local” club.

        • Larry\’s A Simpleton

          thats becasue opencupfan-jsprech-onionsack is such a confused person. i think new york only independent authentic football club could easily draw huge crowds at citi field. why wont stover make the move?

          #CITFIELDCITIFIELDCITIFIELD

  • Len

    Great to hear the New York Cosmos looking at other options for the 2017 season, like Stover said, scheduling has been a major pain at Hofstra. Brooklyn or 10K Mitchel Field would be the best option out of the stadiums he mentioned. Like others not sure why Icahn isn’t considered as it sounds like a good option as well.

  • rebel fighter

    Mitchell Field is a good place to practice but to make it as an option to play will certainly fail, Brooklyn or Icahn are better options. Play on Long Island then one has to wonder if the Cosmos front office has no clue of the NYC sports scene.

    • Jerry

      I agree with rebel fighter.
      Islanders couldnt make it, why would cosmos. Get out of LI. Not happening there at all.

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    They dont even have 1ooo in the stadium tonight. cant wait to hear the excuses for this one.

    #PULLTHEPLUG

    • What Larry Really Means

      I v am lonely and obsessed with the Cosmos. I hate myself and am deeply ashamed that I am overweight, unemployed and collect Thai lady boy dvds.

      • Larry\’s A Simpleton

        wah. typical fanboy response. whats the matter? no guts? no balls? sand up your vag? why cant you just face reality that nobody in nyc cares about the f.cosmos. the f.cosmos are beyond a joke.

        all it is with you fansboys is one excuse after another. wah we play on saturday. wah we play on sunday. wah its to cold. wah its rainy. wah wah wah.

        why cant any f.cosmos fanboy answer a simple question? if a **** farm team brand extension like nycfc can get 25000 at yankee stadium why cant a world famous team like the cosmos do the same at citi field? why?

        maybe because stover and the cosmos are full of ****? they have no money? they know they could get crowds at citi field?

        #FOLDTHECOSMOS

        • Leo Glickman

          “why cant any f.cosmos fanboy answer a simple question? if a **** farm team brand extension like nycfc can get 25000 at yankee stadium why cant a world famous team like the cosmos do the same at citi field? why?”

          I have answered this question for you many times. Because most people are ignoramuses like you. Because most people like Taylor Swift and Kanye. Because most people like Reality TV and never read a book.

          But people like you who love Taylor Swift, The Apprentice and NYCFC miss out on a lot of good things, better things. But for people like you, Doritos and America’s Best Dancers and Kimye and franchise soccer is enough to keep your mind occupied until you die. Some of us have better taste than that.

          • slowleftarm

            So good taste is sitting in a college lacrosse stadium watching MLS rejects play minor league games?

            • Larry\’s A Simpleton

              just like his team, leo is a fraud. its a simmple question that no f.cosmos fanboy will answer because they know nobody in nyc cares about the f.cosmos.

              if a crap team like nycfc can draw 25ooo-3oooo people consistantly to yankee stadium why cant the f.cosmos do the same or better at citifield?

              afterall the cosmos have all those championships, world following and history! the cosmos are the only authentic team in town that play in an authentic independent league! the cosmos are the most famous brand in north american soccer hiistory! if nycfc can draw thousands to ys, the cosmos should be doing better at citi field! amiright?

              leo cant see the forest because the trees are in the way. the rebooted cosmos have been a failure of epic proportions and its a proven fact.

              #MOVETHETEAMTOCITYFIELD!

      • Leo Glickman

        Well done What, well done.

  • Ezra

    They should make a new start in Brooklyn. Plenty of soccer fans here who are hungry for a more local team, and a local government (borough prez, etc) who are also eager to accommodate pro sports in Brooklyn. I think a new stadium somewhere here (Coney, navy yard, Red Hook, somewhere?) is more of a possibility in Brooklyn because of that then it is elsewhere in the city limits.
    I like the team, I like supporting the team, I like their history, etc, but I only make it out to Hofstra a couple times a year because, what the hell? It’s a pain to get there and the stadium sucks (I want to drink beer in my seat, for starters!). But I’ve gone to see them every time at Coney and when they’ve played the Red Bulls (which is a great soccer stadium). Yes, anecdotal evidence but the numbers are there, way more people in Brooklyn than all of LI, for one, and a lot of interest in soccer here.
    I get how on paper it might make sense to focus the team on LI, it’s underserved for pro sports, etc, but at this point it obviously isn’t working, partly due to the stadium but also I think because the community there is just too spread out and not so supportive. They should face facts and re-focus on Brooklyn.

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    CITI FIELD! CITI FIELD! CITI FIELD! CITI FIELD!

    MAKE IT HAPPEN STOVER! Success is staring you in the face! thousands of ny soccer fans are dieing to support an authentic football club like the cosmos and not a brand extention farm team! ny hates single entitty and wants authentical clubs in an independent league!!!!

    GIVE US ONE REASON WHY THE COSMOS WONT MOVE INTO CITI FIELD!

    If a mess like nycfc can draw 25ooo at yankee stadium then certainly new yorks only authentic independent team with all that history and worldwide following can do equally as well. Hell north americas most famous brand would pull in thousands more!

    COME ON LEO GET THE BALL ROLLING! Im sure you have stover and obrien on speed dial. bring it up to them.

    #1-800-GIVE US CITI FIELD!!!!!!

  • Onionsack\’s Brother

    why not moving this year after spring season? Mitchell Field, Stony Brook or even MCU Park in Brooklyn, the sooner the better

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