SBD/January 11, 2017/Franchises

Boroughing Out? N.Y. Cosmos' New Owner Says NASL Club Will Likely Leave Long Island

Mediacom Communications Founder & CEO Rocco Commisso, who yesterday acquired a majority stake in the NASL N.Y. Cosmos, said that the team "will likely leave Long Island," according to Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. Since returning as a pro franchise in '13, the Cosmos "have played home games at Hofstra." Starting next season, though, the Cosmos "will be elsewhere." Commisso said that the "possible sites" are the stadium at Columbia Univ. and Coney Island’s MCU Park, home of the Single-A New York-Penn League Brooklyn Cyclones. The Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium at Columbia is named for Commisso as he "co-captained the Columbia soccer team to its first NCAA appearance" in '70. Faced with "growing debt and questions about the future" of the NASL, the Cosmos "released all but three players in November then stopped paying most staffers in December." Commisso said that his “'first order of business' is to pay the money owed to staffers and debtors." Commisso: "Let’s get something clear: Rocco is not known for screwing anyone, all right?" He "declined to specify how much money is owed." He also "doesn’t foresee unveiling grand plans to build a stadium." More likely he will "seek to house the team at an already established venue." Commisso said, "This is not an easy situation from a financial standpoint. Rarely do sports teams make money and in the case of the Cosmos, even worse" (NEWSDAY, 1/11). In New Jersey, John Brennan writes Commisso has a "challenge ahead of him" (Bergen RECORD, 1/11).
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