Hope For Cosmos Stadium? ESD asks bidders to readjust proposals

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Just when you thought the New York Cosmos stadium bid flatlined, Albany breaks out the defibrillators.

As first reported by Newsday, the Empire State Development Corp. is asking bidders to readjust their bids.

According to the report, a portion of the original land issued for redevelopment (Parcel A) has been offered to the New York Racing Association; the operators of Belmont Racetrack. This particular segment of the Cosmos bid is where the club proposed their “restaurant row” and sky bridge crossing to the proposed stadium complex.

With Parcel A out of the bidding, the ESD has asked interested bidders to readjust their proposals for consideration.

“Given the time that has passed, please update us on how your thinking for Parcel B has changed,” wrote Thomas Conoscenti, director of real estate and planning for the ESD. “Areas of interest include: changes to the scope and design of the project, an update on the financial condition of the responding team, revenue projections in light of market changes, project sources and uses, project timeline and financial offer. Please not at this time we would like all financial offers to be presented as a sale.”

Conoscenti also asked bidders to submit their changes by December 4th, with a follow up interview to come on the 9th and 10th.

This comes weeks after assemblyman Gregory Meeks indicated that the Elmont bid could face a possible rebidding.

Asked about this new development, Cosmos COO Erik Stover tells EOS, “We are still evaluating the correspondence from the State and look forward to presenting our updated plan that will bring thousands of jobs,
millions in economic revenue and a state-of-the-art entertainment complex to Long Island.”

So what does this mean for the Cosmos? That depends on how you look at the situation.

For one, they are still in the running at Elmont after three trying and confusing years. That is the good news.

However, the $400 million proposal just lost one of it’s primary revenue streams. While the focus of the Cosmos’ Elmont Crossing bid is the stadium, the adjacent “restaurant row” and the land bridge over Hempstead Turnpike were key aspects for drawing residents to the area, creating a destination district that would tie the stadium into Belmont Racetrack while establishing a steady revenue stream that would feed the club year round.

That leaves the Cosmos with the stadium itself as well as the proposed hotel area on Hempstead Turnpike and the adjacent parkland.

With a key piece of real estate now out of the equation, the Cosmos can look at the situation in three ways. For one, they may be tired of the chase and abandon it altogether. That is a bit extreme, but a possibility all the same.

If not, they will have to rethink their bid to maximize their potential revenue within a smaller area of land. That could mean a adjusting their 25k seat stadium to accommodate more restaurants and shops — perhaps even a supermarket area, which has been high on the community priority list for years. A more modest proposal, perhaps an 18k seat stadium, will still meet D1 standards and allow the team to be more flexible with what they wish to build in light of this subtraction.

Or they can do nothing at all. In fact, if they go this route, it may be the very best opportunity to date to gauge the priorities of club chairman Seamus O’Brien. What makes the Cosmos bid so attractive is not only the stadium, but the redevelopment of land within that district. With important swaths of potential property gone, the Cosmos will be forced to rely on just their stadium and hotel to fund their operations. Is that enough to keep the ownership’s interest in the project long term?

Whatever the case may be, the Cosmos now have options where once they had none. That is a victory in and of itself. Which way they go will be decided in short order.




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  • Cosmo

    They won’t win the bid, it’s so obvious but if they do, just make a 20,000 seater with expansion room and try to do something like they wanted at first.
    For now, call red bull ny and ask for a price jk but not a bad idea, and start looking a Brooklyn next to the new arena.

  • Anonymous

    Elmont could be a big mistake. Why not build in Brooklyn or Queens. NYC is the biggest market in the US. There is a reason why the Islander’s left Nassau Co.

    • MTF

      Umm, the Islanders didn’t leave Nassau to play in NYC because it’s the biggest market in the U.S. They left because they had no choice. Nassau and Town of Hempstead politicians refused to work with Wang. You really think they wanted to move to Brooklyn, even more in the Rangers’ shadow, to play in a basketball arena? The move is already a disaster. They didn’t move for the opportunity. Sorry. Just had to clarify that.

      • Alan Smithee

        The Islanders’ revenues are already up 30% from all of last season after only a dozen games in Brooklyn (source: Darren Rovell, SI). Some disaster.

        But it’s funny how similar the Isles’ and Cosmos’ situations are. Both want to build something on Long Island. Both are getting stymied by governmental foot-dragging and a handful of powerful leaders within the Town of Hempstead who are against the project. Both looked to Brooklyn as Plan B (which may end up Plan A soon enough).

      • Troy

        Read Alan Smithee’s comment. The Islanders moved out of a decrepit Nassau Coliseum and into a brand-new Barclay’s Center. You call that a loss? Not on my planet its not.

        • MTF

          Yes, it’s a good thing the Isles’ revenues are up, but that’s do to getting out of their disastrous Nassau County / SMG lease that gave them zero from parking, concessions, etc. It’s the new generous lease which is providing them revenues, and Barclays has the option to break it in a few years. Their attendance is pitiful (2nd lowest in the NHL) and only going down as more people experience a game in the building. This isn’t an Islanders board, but don’t compare their situation with any other team’s desire to move to the ‘urban core.’

        • MTF

          You obviously haven’t attended a game at Barclays, Troy. The Coliseum was decrepit but the viewing experience couldn’t be beat. Now they are shoehorned into a shiny basketball arena…and they don’t fit. In many seats your body is at an angle to the ice!

          • Troy

            You’re right I have not gone to an Islanders game at Barclays, nor would I ever. I’ve been to MSG and their new renovation has made some seats really uncomfortable for me, I’m 6’1″. So, cry me a river. Buy better seats. Anything is better than Nassau, that place was like a soviet-era concrete bunker. Plus its in NASSAU. Hello.

          • Alan Smithee

            I’ve been to three games and sat on the Dean Ave. side of the building every time, MTF. I haven’t noticed a difference between those and equivalent seats at the Coliseum, except these seats don’t smell like 40-year-old spilled beer and that guy in the gold wig.

            Barclays will be fine once the fans get over the fact that they are not coming back to Long Island in the forseeable future. The out clause is a mutual clause that both the team and Barclays Center would have to agree to before freeing the Isles, and a 13,000-seater in Uniondale with no additional revenue streams is a non-starter for an NHL team.

  • Tom

    They should adjust plans and set the stadium capacity at 18k, a more reasonable figure for the Cosmos and like the article says, a D1 size stadium.

    • MTF

      I absolutely agree with this. I love Red Bull Arena, but they honestly built it a little too big. Should’ve been 20,000 with expansion capability.

  • Kevin

    They have been played long enough. Go check out Brooklyn. I just want a decision done soon. Its been 3 years of waiting for the state and in fact for the Cosmos front office.

  • Cosmo

    Let’s be realistic, it’s not happening and cosmos FO should be ready for anything, specially now that they have less land to work with.
    Cosmos needs to act fast and move fast, and if renting red bull arena or buying red bull is an option then do it, because if it comes to nycfc and cosmos looking for stadium land, nycfc will get it first.

    • Ali C is my man

      Cosmos buying Red Bulls….hahahaha in your dreams.

      Once the stadium deal goes belly up I’m afraid Cosmos and Stover’s flawed NASL strategy is done. Shame because I’d like to have seen a 3rd NY team but the whole plan was ridiculous from the very start.

  • ted

    look else where cosmos.

  • Troy

    Unfortunately people with money (Cosmos ownership) don’t always make wise decisions. That’s why the public gets stuck with big boondoggles like any stadium out on LI will be.

    Here’s the upside though. Imagine, in 10 years they can turn the abandoned, garbage and weed filled stadium into a nature preserve.

  • HydraHamster

    Brooklyn already express wanting the Cosmos to build the stadium there and I heard the fan base is big there too. It should be commonsense at this point since the current place they are looking at do not want them when another place do.

    • ty

      where ? show me the link? They have no shot in NYC period as does NYCFC. Are you not familiar with NY sports stadiums? Are you seriously that new?

      • DanGerman

        The Brooklyn borough president has gone on record wanting to build a soccer stadium somewhere in Brooklyn and I think the Cosmos should talk to him to see what’s available. It certainly can’t hurt.

      • Garber Baby League Life Plan Co.

        YES! Don’t listen to DanGerman and HydraHamster. They speak the fax and MLS Garber fans don’t use fax, only what I tell them. If I nor my Garber minion writers did not wright any articles about the Cosmos stadium updates, then nothing happened.

        Now my Garber minion, ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • DanGerman

          Hey everybody OpenCupFan is using a sock puppet AGAIN! Awesome dude, just awesome you’re so smart.

          • Jukebox Pony

            Nope. It was me all along. You see, boredom made me do it.

  • ty

    Forget Brooklyn i don’t want dirty hipsters like NYCFC. Nothing wrong with a stadium right at the Belmont Racetrack. LIRR needs the revenue. This option shows appreciation for the Nassau County fans.

    • DanGerman

      Elmont’s not happening now for the Cosmos in my opinion. They cut off the attractive part for the community (Restaurant row) from the plan, that just leaves the stadium which isn’t a huge revenue generator, the other plans now seemingly have an advantage over the Cosmos plan as they don’t need the secondary plan as much as the Cosmos. I just think this is Albany’s way of getting an out for all plans. They can now say “we don’t like any of the new plans and we are reopening the bidding” which I think is their end game. I’d move on from LI and try Brooklyn or even NJ.

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      LIRR needs the revenue? LMFFAO! Dude, the 20 or so people taking the LIRR to see the f.cosmos isn’t going to help.

      the f.cosmos are a drain on the economy. why do you think hofstra cant wait to get rid of them?

      • Slowleftarm

        I agree with you. Larry. When is your next naked dance party? Are you having one for Thanksgiving?

        • ty

          I don’t care how small our footprint is as it relates to “world football” but as long as my Club is not Red bulls Salzburg Jr or Manchester city Jr. I’m good.

          • Well said Ty.

          • Larry’s A Simpleton

            right! because the entire USA soccer fanbase fully supports those groovy independent teams that comprise the minor league nasl. you fanboys really have to stop with your delusional bs.

            minnesota gone
            san antonio gone
            carolina wants out
            atlanta on life support
            so is edmonton and their 2000 fans. well at least they make f.cosmos fanboys feel better about those paltry attendance figures at shuart.

            rip nasl

            • ty

              Yet you have illusions of being relevant rather than Man City Jr. I can’t understand why you don’t see the irony. MLS fans complain about “euro snobs” then root for Man City Jr and Salzburg FC B.

  • I view this as a positive development. Sounds to me like ESD has given in to a big casino bid on parcel A. A Cosmos Stadium, Casino, and Racetrack in one entertainment district could be a a really successful venture. I hope the Cosmos are able to land Parcel B!

    This could be the gamechanger the NASL needs to stabilize and attract further investors and sponsors.

  • rebel fighter

    Cosmos front office out of touch to believe that Elmont is a great location. How much will it cost to get to a game on the LIRR? Just build in Brooklyn and see improved attendance. Cosmopolitans in the suburbs, really

    • Larry’s A Simpleton

      they played 2 matches in brooklyn and they still couldn’t draw flies to the stadium. and one match was a playoff game. nobody in nyc cares about the f.cosmos. you guys are going to be very disappointed come january when stover announces the move to hartford.

      • slowleftarm

        What about your team NYC Shitty Football Club the laughing stock of SOCCER in America ?

        • HydraHamster

          Foreign soccer fans are laughing also mainly because of it being a cookie cutting of it’s more superior sister club, Manchester City. Even the Australian and Japanese soccer clubs owned by the same owners have it’s own look and personalities. Sadly, it looks like the NASL is making the same mistakes with Rayo OKC. Instead of the jersey and jersey sponsor being the same as it’s sister club (which as not been announced nor shown yet), it’s the crest.

      • Larry a simpleton

        You see…my own team is **** so it makes me feel good to comment on the cosmos.

        Cause really ..other than attendance what is there to say about NYCFC except that the team is crap, the front office chaotic, they play on a narrow baseball field and the fans are obnoxious morons.

        Someone please hold me. I hate myself.

        • slowleftarm

          I also hate u so now u have company.

  • I am no longer a big fan of the Belmont project, but here are the facts.

    1. The Cosmos are NOT buying the Red Bulls and are not buying into MLS unless single entity ends (which is almost impossible). End of story folks.

    2. The stadium as its proposed straddles the Queens/Nassau border. A portion of the stadium is actually in Queens.

    3. While the Cosmos are being denied the stadium, other well connected serious bidders are also being denied the site for development, so this is hardly a “pro-cosmos/anti-cosmos” situation. Indeed, the fact that it hasn’t already gone to one of the more politically connected developers speaks to the seriousness of the Cosmos bid.

    4. Whether they get the bid or not, the decision has nothing to do with whether the stadium is 18,000, 20,000 or 25,000 or more or less. If the state truly likes the idea, but thinks it’s too big, they will engage the Cosmos on that point. If you think that’s a reason for the cosmos not getting the stadium, you don’t understand the process.

    5. If people are saying that the Islanders are making more money in Barclays center, I don’t know so I can’t dispute that. But the attendance in brooklyn is second lowest in the NHL, that much I know.

    6. With the Belmont bid, the Cosmos are well, well, well ahead of the nothingness that is happening at NYCFC. And remember Red bull fans how long it took for the Metrostars/RB franchise to get its stadium.

    7. I have my doubts though about the belmont location too. Though the proposal at the City Council right now to lower fees on LIRR for intra-city trips to the cost of a subway fare will help a little. But let’s face it, Long Island has proven to be a terrible sports location.

    8, The Cosmos might be awarded Belmont, and they might not. If you think one or the other for sure, you’re being idiotic, or a troll.

    For a change, this has been a pretty intelligent conversation. Don’t ruin it Simpleton, go talk with your F. Man City fellow trolls about whether Man city will raid nycfc to help their title bid.

    • Garry

      Leo, not a troll, but an intelligent conversationalist who just so happens to be a RBNY fan (my love of soccer began with the Cosmos). Just suppose the Belmont bid falls through, what, or where is the Cosmos “Plan B”? Do they have one in place, or this is an all or nothing project? What’s your take on this?

      Appreciate your response in advance.

      • Not getting Belmont would be a HUGE setback for the Cosmos, no doubt about it. I know they have explored other options, and have had preliminary talks with certain property owners and politicians. But any plan b would be within NYC would be a looooonnnggg way off, if it ever came to pass. I suspect, understandably, that they don’t want to plow money into feasibility studies for plan B sites if they think they have a reasonable chance at Belmont.

  • MTF

    Now that they are beginning redevelopment of the Nassau Hub and the Isles have up and left, you’d think County Exec Mangano and new ToH Supervisor Santino would be willing to make a pitch to keep the Cosmos in Nassau. The Belmont site is state controlled, but the Hub / Mitchel Field is ToH and County controlled. They already have their practice facility there. Let them redevelop the Mitchel Field track stadium to an 18,000 seat arena. Show the people that Nassau can still go big time. It would be a game changer.

    • But nobody goes to the games in Hofstra. There is one solid datapoint we have, the uniondale location is a loser.

      • MTF

        You don’t think that if the Cosmos had their own grass, regulation sized venue, even in Uniondale, it would attract a lot more people? How about the ability to serve beer and have real concessions? The experience at a real soccer stadium like RBA is head and shoulders above what the Cosmos have at Shuart. Hofstra is a bigger turnoff for the casual fans then some think.

        • Hofstra sucks, but I don’t think the casual fan goes to soccer games for the grass, large size, or greater beer availability. Long Island is just not great for soccer. The Cosmos have shown that.

          • MTF

            No, they go for the total experience. My 12 and 10 year old have been to both RBA and Hofstra. One has even walked out with the Cosmos pre-game. Even they thought attending a Cosmos game was weak compared to a Red Bulls match. I don’t buy that Long Island is a bad soccer town. 2 million people with a lot of disposable income. I think people attend a match at Hofstra and the experience, for the price the Cosmos charge, leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s face it, their number one drawback is they don’t play in MLS (I know, I know, you’re thankful they don’t).

            • Oh I agree with the MLS thing MTF. As long as we play in a league considered D2, that’s going to hurt our attendance. Having said that, I’m sorry, if you’re not drawing 5,000 when you have Raul and Senna, there is more going on. The rest of the NASL is outdrawing us without any marquee players and without as good teams. Give me a break.

              • MTF

                Well then, you are right. The Cosmos are screwed.

                • MTF

                  I’ll anticipate another reboot in 2045. They can sign 58 year old Cristiano Ronaldo, and wonder where the fans are. Lol

  • PS an extremely intelligent article by Dave. Good one, right on the money.

  • Rui

    the only way Albany will even consider Cosmos bid, is if they enter MLS. Albany knows what these guys are drawing in NASL. Wake up Cosmos.

    • slowleftarm

      they are ICONIC Rui u moron !

      • Rui

        yo, yo, yo, what’s with the name calling, I wasn’t responding to you.
        Didn’t your parents teach you manners?

        • slowleftarm

          shut up u idiot !

          • Rui

            Do you talk to your mother with that filthy mouth?

            • slowleftarm

              I am talking to u punk

    • HydraHamster

      I see no harm in letting the Cosmos build a stadium they will fund. All the city have to do is allow or disallow it. There are already some D2, D3 and D4 stadiums build in the USA without worries from the citizens of them being a minor league team. It should already say a lot on how long it took the Red Bulls to get a stadium and there being no progress being made with NYCFC getting one.

  • Rui if you think “the state” knows the difference between mls and nasl, or div 1 and 2, much less give a shot, you are commenting on something you dont know a thing about.

  • john

    As has been said, and I’ve said before.

    Redesign to less imposing 18,000 structure , with potential to expand to 25,000.

    The largest stand with lights facing housing was one of the residents concerns in planning. Also a 25k stadium in NASL will be at best 60% full, compared to a 18K which would be a more atmospheric 80%+ full.

    Plan B. Citi field car park (wih underground parking)

    Plan C. Nassau Col. car park (wih underground parking)

  • The Real insider

    Why would the state of New York give that property to a Minor League team in a league that might not be around in 5 years?

    It never going to happen.

    • they’re not “giving” the property to anyone.

    • ty

      because private money is private money. You seriously think the MLS generates anything? You think the suits in Albany follow the MLS? Duh da MLS is everything Duh duh MLS”

    • HydraHamster

      That’s what people said about MLS when they were new and now look at them. Sure they are not a good league, but they are still here two decades later.

  • REAL OpenCupFan Knows mls fans are Suckers

    DangerMouse likes to say I use sock puppets because he doesn’t want to recognize that many people disagree with his constant anti-Cosmos rhetoric.
    This is the guy that said he wanted to go to the Comos game in Coney Island but couldn’t figure out how to use the purchase interface on the team’s website. He is the only person in America that can’t figure out how to purchase game tickets in NYC, or as he would have you believe, the problem isn’t him but the Cosmos don’t know how to manage a website either.
    I don’t post under anyone else’s name, it just shows how many people think you’re a dumb dumb and so are your attacks against the greatest club in The US.
    DangerMan, you’re a SUCKER. Enjoy this comment section, it already has more posts than all #bushleaguemls play-off posts combined. Before u try posting again, make sure slow gives you back the brain u bots share.

  • Kevin

    I thought NYC was moving to Hartford, thats what my sources said

  • joe

    the suckers are the ones following a club owned by dirty middle east oil money, in a league owned by criminally indicted business men, whose teams lost 7 straight games to 3rd Div. ULS minor league teams…

    • slowleftarm

      Joe why don’t u gayoff in the corner with Larry the loser

      • Larry’s A Simpleton

        f.cosmos fanboys are such pigs. HEY MARTINEZ, how come you always let these f.cosmos fanboys get away with their bigoted hateful remarks? f.cosmoys fanboys are giving this place a bad reputation. even the dolts of big soccer laff at this place. START BANNING THE BIGOTS DAVE!!!

        • slowleftarm

          shut up moron no one likes u here why don’t u move to Hartford

          • Larry’s A Simpleton

            if the f.cosmos get their phantom stadium built its going to have a capacity of 3000. this way all you phony posing euroscum bigot wannabees can drop your loads over all those sold out games

            • EPL Fan

              I have to say that the three biggest idiots on these boards are:

              1) Larry’s a simpleton
              2) Slow Left Arm
              3) Open Cup Fan

              I would like to see the three of them in the ring at once in a fight to the death.

              Who is with me on this?

            • Being called “posing Euroscum” from a fan of the Manchester City farm team. That’s rich.

              • Larry a simpleton

                Well I AM a simpleton!

              • Larry’s A Simpleton

                sure leo, whatever you say. keep on pretending that farce out there in nassau county is somehow relavent to the new york sports scene.

                f.cosmos dont come close to nycfc in attendance, advertising revenue, merchandise revenue, media coverage or season ticket sales, but man o man we had pele on out team 40 years ago. laffin’ my fat black ass off!!!

                f.cosmos fanboys are so delusional its frightening. oh thats right. youd rather sit in a totally empty stadium with the other 2000 organic fanboys.

                • Larry a simpleton

                  See what I did there?

                  I didn’t mention on the field achievements because I know my team is **** and always will be.

                  Incidentally, don’t forget…I’m having a Thanksgiving naked dance party up in Throngs neck tonight.

                  We’ve got LOTS of cranberry sauce, baby!

  • Brad

    I’m not. You’re 1, 2, and 3 alone. Anyone who name calls endlessly is a first class douchebag. That’s you.

    • EPL fan

      Don’t hate me because i’m good looking

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