After months of without sleep, the boys in green are coming to Brooklyn. On Thursday, the New York Cosmos announced that they would be playing at MCU Park in Brooklyn for the 2017 NASL Season. The move comes after an unceremonious end to a four year relationship with Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium in Hempstead. MCU is not new turf for the Cosmos, as they first hosted the Ottawa Fury on May 2, 2015 at the ballpark. The venue later played host to the 2015 NASL Championship Semi-Final, which saw Raul score the winning goal over the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 61st minute.
“During the Cosmos’ inaugural season in 1971, the team played at Yankee Stadium,” said Cosmos owner Rocco B. Commisso in a press release. “With our move to MCU Park in Brooklyn, we are not only able to offer fans easy access to a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience, but we are also reconnecting the club to its original New York City roots. Adding the excitement of Cosmos’ games to Coney Island’s already vibrant atmosphere will be a win-win for our club and soccer enthusiasts throughout the metropolitan area.”
The venue has long been reported as the Cosmos “Manifest Destiny” of sorts in a post-Hofstra world, with Raul and Marcos Senna preferring the turf in Brooklyn to that at Shuart Stadium. The rest of the NASL has not been as keen, however. The aforementioned Strikers had reportedly lodged official complaints with the league over the different colored turf patches, in place for the venue’s main tenant, the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Cyclones are the short season single-A affiliate to the New York Mets. This relationship, interestingly enough, drew a comment out of Mets COO Jeff Wilpon about today’s move.
“We are thrilled to showcase MCU Park as a multi-purpose venue and welcome the Cosmos, a storied franchise in American soccer history. All New York area soccer fans will enjoy watching the Cosmos make their mark in Brooklyn.”
The Cosmos move to Brooklyn hasn’t only been sought after by the club. Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has also been a long time supporter of bringing the Cosmos to the borough.
“Coney Island has been an iconic destination for generations of New York families,” said Adams on Friday. “This historic Brooklyn neighborhood’s remarkable renaissance will hopefully accelerate even further with the move of the New York Cosmos to MCU Park.”
The praise continued to go up the chain of New York City government with Mayor Bill de Blasio getting in on it.
“With the Cosmos coming to Brooklyn, we’re adding a world class franchise to New York City’s proud soccer tradition,” said de Blasio. “We couldn’t be more proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the five boroughs.”
Friday’s announcement even comes complete with a welcome video, showing a faceless Cosmos player running across the famous Coney Island boardwalk and looking over to MCU. The video cuts immediately to a shot of the Five Points at a recent MCU match, with the word “Hello” flashing across the screen in nearly a dozen languages. The video ends with a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge and fade to black, with the Cosmos logo and “#CosmosToBK 2017” directly below.
The move to MCU completes one of new owner Rocco B. Commisso’s main objectives: bringing the Cosmos back to New York City’s five boroughs. This is the first season the Cosmos will play in NYC since 1976, when the club played at Yankee Stadium. Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the return, saying “With the Cosmos coming to Brooklyn, we’re adding a world class franchise to New York City’s proud soccer tradition. We couldn’t be more proud to welcome the New York Cosmos to the five boroughs.”
In today’s press release, the Cosmos also announced that season tickets would go on sale Friday, February 3rd. In an email to fans Tuesday, Cosmos COO Erik Stover teased the move, saying that the clubs new home would feature an “enhanced match day experience including improved food and beverage options.”
The Cosmos will open their stay at MCU Park on Saturday, April 1st, 2017.