As part of an ongoing initiative to make Nassau County a premier sports and entertainment destination, County Executive Edward P. Mangano officially opened the new Mitchel Field practice facility for the New York Cosmos.
County Executive Mangano was joined by Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature Norma Gonsalves; Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker; Shep Messing, Former Cosmos Goalkeeper and International Ambassador; Erik Stover, New York Cosmos Chief Operating Officer; Giovanni Savarese, New York Cosmos Head Coach; Carlos Mendes, New York Cosmos Defender and Richard O’Kane of the Nassau/Suffolk Builder Trades to celebrate opening of the facility.
“My administration is proud of this third public-private partnership for our park system that invests private sector dollars in public facilities for our residents,” said County Executive Mangano. “From the construction of new state-of-art ice rinks in Eisenhower Park to this new practice facility for the Cosmos, Nassau is becoming a sports-entertainment destination that attracts tourism dollars to our region.”
Earlier this year, the Cosmos won a Request-for-Proposal to develop a venue at Mitchel Field. As part of the plan, the New York Cosmos soccer club invested $400,000 to transform the dry dirt field into a new lush green practice facility. When the Cosmos are not training for their season, the new facility will be open for the public to enjoy.
“This is another exciting step in the reboot of the Cosmos,” Stover said. “As a professional team, it’s very important to have great partners. With Nassau County, we have that and more. This couldn’t have happened without their support. Now, we’re looking forward to the next big step – Cosmos Opening Day on Aug. 3 at Hofstra.”
The New York Cosmos were first established in 1971 and played 14 seasons in the NASL. During this time, the Cosmos became a household name achieving success on the field with the acquisition of soccer stars including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto and ultimately winning five Soccer Bowl trophies. In 2010, the New York Cosmos franchise was revived and is now gearing up for the 2013 season.
Even 30 years later, the New York Cosmos still maintain their legacy as one of the most popular soccer teams in America and have a strong and loyal fan base.
County Executive Ed Mangano said he is proud to have Nassau County and Mitchel Field serve as a new home for the iconic team.