Belmont Park, the major Thoroughbred horse-racing facility located in Nassau County, could soon have a new neighbor. The New York Cosmos and the Mattone Group, a real estate and construction company, have submitted a proposal to the Empire State Development Corp. to build a new soccer stadium near Belmont Park racing track. The plan includes creating a sports complex at the race track and some retail space.
Belmont Park in Elmont is the home to one of the elite tracks in horse racing. Currently, it has a large parking lot that sits empty most of the time, and this proposal could change that.
The Cosmos are members of the North American Soccer League. If the plan goes through, it’d be the first field for the team in more than 30 years. The team is looking at a long-term strategy and is seeking a stadium of its own to play home games.
The proposal submitted by the Cosmos and Mattone Group includes a 25,000-seat stadium, a 175-room hotel, about 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a 4.3-acre community park. Construction is expected to cost around $374 million, which will be funded privately.
Michael Mattone, chief financial officer of the Mattone Group, said the stadium and retail complex would create more than 2,000 jobs through ongoing operation of the complex in addition to about 1,000 construction jobs. Mattone says so far its received a positive response during informal discussions at Elmont.
The Cosmos also agree.
“We also believe the stadium and multi-use complex will be extremely beneficial in helping to support the state’s vision to re-energize the Belmont Race Track and its surrounding community,” said Cosmos COO Erik Stover
According to the Cosmos, if the State accepts the proposal, the stadium would be completed by the end of 2015 and would open in spring 2016. Retail shops would be open in the fall of 2015.
The Mattone Group, a family business run by Joseph Mattone, Michael Mattone and Carl Mattone have developed other properties in the area including the Jamaica Center.