Nearly 200 union, political and civic leaders rallied Thursday at Belmont Park to urge the state to support a plan to build a 25,000-seat stadium, hotel and retail park at the site for the New York Cosmos soccer team.
In February 2013, the Cosmos and three other firms that have proposed retail and recreation complexes, each submitted bids to the Empire State Development Corp., the state's primary economic development agency, to build on the state-owned property in Elmont. The agency has not chosen a winner.
"We have patiently waited for nearly three years for a decision on the RFP but we are running out of time," said Erik Stover, CEO of the Cosmos.
Stover has said the Cosmos will consider alternative locations throughout the region for the $400 million, privately funded project if the state does not make a decision by year's end. The team currently plays home games at Hofstra University's James Shuart Stadium.
Empire State Development Corp. did not respond to requests for comment.
The Cosmos want to build a stadium, hotel, nine restaurants, a community center, retail stores, a movie theater and a public park.
State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), said the ESD's "continued inaction on Belmont redevelopment after nearly three years defies logic and sends a terrible message. It's long past time to stop delaying, make a decision, and start building."
Nassau County Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont) said the community "does not want" the stadium and said the project will not create sustainable jobs.
He and his sister, Assemb. Michaelle C. Solages (D-Elmont), say the area needs a grocery store and affordable housing.