Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
MINEOLA, New York — The New York Cosmos, one of the world's best-known soccer franchises of the 1970s and resurrected last year after nearly three decades of dormancy, proposed Wednesday to construct a 25,000-seat, privately financed stadium at Belmont Park racetrack.
Plans for the $400 million project were submitted last week to New York's Empire State Development Corp., which will decide later this year on how to develop the 400-acre racetrack property in Elmont, just east of New York City.
A new soccer stadium could be an economic boon for struggling Nassau County following last year's announcement that the National Hockey League's New York Islanders were relocating to Brooklyn in 2015.
In the 1970s, the Cosmos played in the North American Soccer League, and attracted worldwide attention by signing some of the greatest players of the day including the legendary Brazilian star Pele, Italy's Giorgio Chinaglia and West German star Franz Beckenbauer. The NASL disbanded in 1984, but the Cosmos played one more season in 1985 as an independent team before folding.