Another year, and another promise for Belmont Park ["Soccer at Belmont," News, Jan. 16]. How many promises for economic development in Elmont and Belmont have we heard? Now they tell us a soccer stadium will be built for $400 million, by a once-forgotten soccer team and once-bankrupt North American Soccer League.
First it was video lottery terminals to create jobs at Belmont. But the VLTs went to Queens. Next it was the Shinnecocks and a possible hotel and casino. Elmont community leaders made good friends with the Shinnecock Nation and were hopeful a casino would come. Next, the Islanders were coming. They needed a home, so a new Coliseum was going to be built at Belmont Park. They might have stopped heading west, but ended up in Brooklyn.
A soccer stadium is the last thing any community needs. Stadiums bring people in to spend money in the stadium, but not in the community. And a stadium is only open during a season, then you're stuck with it and no money for the rest of the year.
Proponents will mention jobs. If you want to sell beer and hot dogs during the season, I guess that's a job. What about housing for the young people? Well I guess the young people can still live in the basement while selling hot dogs at the new stadium. Or is this stadium just another mirage?
Patrick Nicolosi, Elmont