Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray raised eyebrows last week as she presented a citation to soccer great Pelé as the New York Cosmos opened their season at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.
Was Murray getting behind the Cosmos’ plan to build a 25,000-seat stadium, 75-room hotel and retail complex at Belmont Park? Not yet, said Murray spokesman Mike Deery. The town will not weigh in until the Empire State Development Corp. chooses among four developers bidding to develop the property, Deery said.
“We have not taken a stand on the project,” he said, noting that while Belmont is state land, Hempstead may have to issue permits for the winning project.
Several local elected officials, including Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), are on board with the Cosmos project.
“This project belongs here in Nassau County because the community wants it and deserves it,” Martins said. “It’s more than enough reason for Gov. Cuomo to take action and the community has given him more than enough time to do so.”
ESD officials say they are in the process of finalizing a decision.
Opposition to the Cosmos project has been led by Nassau Legis. Carrié Solages and his sister, Assemb. Michaelle C. Solages, both Democrats from Elmont.