Elmont residents rally for new pro soccer stadium

Elmont residents rallied for the construction of a new stadium for the New York Cosmos soccer team.

Elmont residents rallied for the construction of a new stadium for the New York Cosmos soccer team. (5/3/16)

ELMONT - Residents in one Nassau County community braved the rain Tuesday to plead for the construction of a new soccer stadium.

Activist Sandra Smith, of the Elmont Coalition, says area residents deserve to reap the benefits of having the New York Cosmos call their community home.

According to the Cosmos' proposal, the 25,000-seat stadium would stand on the southern parking area of Belmont Park. The proposal also includes a two-story retail center, three levels of parking and nearly a dozen restaurants.

John Doros, the head of the Long Island Federation of Labor, says the project would provide about 500 construction jobs, in addition to another 2,000 positions in the complex. He adds that the project would create hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax benefits.

While there are residents who say the stadium would be a boon for the community, others, including some who live nearby, say it would be a mistake. Last week, some residents opposed to the plan protested outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in Hicksville.

The Cosmos say the entire project could cost upward of $400 million. The team adds that the stadium would be privately funded and would not cost taxpayers anything.

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