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Protest planned against proposed Belmont soccer stadium

Nassau Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont) is organizing a protest next week against a proposed 25,000-seat stadium at Belmont Park, contending the facility would increase traffic and noise and may not be financially viable. 

The New York Cosmos, a once-prominent soccer franchise that was revived last year, have proposed constructing a privately-funded, $400 million stadium next door to the Belmont Racetrack.

The Cosmos stadium plan has the support of County Executive Edward Mangano and Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola). But, Solages and other local civic leaders claim the stadium would overwhelm the Elmont community.

“I am concerned the stadium is not conducive to the community,” said Solages, who said he has been approached by dozens of constituents opposed to the project.

In a statement, Cosmos spokesman David Hochman said the team’s proposal was for more than just a soccer stadium.

“It is part of a multi-use development that opens up jobs for local residents and gives back to the community, and includes the provision of new park land,” Hochman said. 
"Our proposal is 100 percent privately funded, so there is no burden on Nassau County taxpayers or the people of Elmont.”

Two Nassau County developers, the Engel Burman Group, based in Garden City, and Basser-Kaufman, of Woodmere, have alternatively proposed a 28-acre retail and recreation center at Belmont Park. The plan includes a supermarket, restaurants, a soccer field and a community center.

Solages’ “Rally to Save Elmont’s Future” protest will be held on May 19 at 12:30 p.m. at a yet undetermined location. The rally was originally to be held in front of a home on Huntley Road in Elmont, but sources said the location was changed after complaints from the homeowner.  

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