Letter: Frequent Belmont plans too flimsy

This is an illustration of the 25,000-seat stadium

This is an illustration of the 25,000-seat stadium that the New York Cosmos soccer team is proposing for a corner of Belmont Park in Elmont. The project would include a 175-room hotel, restaurants, retail stores and a public park on the northern section of the property near the racetrack. Photo Credit: Handout

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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


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