As it turns out, the Republican representative grew up a Cosmos fan. In a recent press release, Martins waxes romantically about his childhood team and the impact their resurrection can have on Nassau County and Long Island as a whole.
“I can still recall the distinctive beat that summoned me weekly to WOR (we knew it simply as channel 9) to watch the bad boys of soccer – the New York Cosmos,” he writes. “This was the team that broke New York and really, North America, onto the world soccer scene; a team that imported world-class athletes like Georgio Chinaglia, Franz Beckenbauer and of course, the immortal, Pele.”
As the Senator recounts, he has worked over the past two years on the restoration of the Hempstead Turnpike corridor. He builds an argument bridging the loss of the New York Islanders and their local revenues seamlessly to the Cosmos, whom he hopes would be able to fill in that professional sporting gap for the over three million residents of Long Island.
“Since (the Islanders) announced their move earlier this year, the best minds on Long Island have been busy trying to figure out just how to replace what they brought to the Long Island economy,” he says. “It’s a daunting task because in actuality, there’s virtually nothing that offers the predictable and recurring financial impact that an anchor sports franchise does.
“In that light, the Cosmos and the private investment they bring will create thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, from the construction phase right through the creation of permanent jobs that come with running a world-class arena. The project will also generate much-needed tax revenue for our communities and schools and it’s the kind of project that can jumpstart economic development along the Hempstead Turnpike corridor.”
Interestingly enough, a leak managed to make it’s way from Martins’ offices regarding the Cosmos Stadium days prior to the organizations official announcement disclosing their intentions. With this recent public statement, you begin to realize why.
Of course, it goes beyond the scope of his fandom. As a politician, Martins, much like the local leaders supporting the “MLS to Queens” project, sees the socio-economic impact such an ambitious endeavor can generate. Elmont suffered greatly through the economic recession and recently took another hit with Hurricane Sandy. According to The New Cosmos Stadium site, the project would create more than 500 construction jobs, and over 3,000 full-time permanent jobs between the stadium and it’s surrounding commercial area. Construction would bring in over $500 million for Nassau County with over $200 million in annual revenue as well.
The aspiring $400 million project would be privately financed.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” he concludes. “Belmont was designed to accommodate over 100,000 people for the Belmont Stakes. Ample parking and infrastructure already exist, so the proposal to construct a 25,000 seat stadium is an easy fit. Belmont Park also has the benefit of an existing Long Island Railroad station and sits along the Cross Island Parkway with its own entrance and exit ramps already in place – making it incredibly convenient for anyone this side of the Hudson. Just think my fellow sports fan, a day out without traveling to the Meadowlands!
“Nothing is impossible. This Cosmos stadium project is a perfect example and I truly believe it’s just the start of many good things to come.”