According to a report from Newsday, the answer is yes. Sources have reportedly told the outlet that the team’s owners have met with officials of the New York Racing Association, who run Belmont, across the last few months.
In an interview with Erik Stover in early June, he relayed to TICC that the conversations with the Empire State Development Corporation had gone quiet about a month prior. Towards the end of the month, TICC approached him again, asking about how NYRA’s ownership, remaining in the hands of the state of New York, might affect the club’s ambitions at Belmont.
“I don’t know,” he responded. “It would help if somebody would talk to us about it, but they don’t.”
The timeline, the ownership of NYRA, the silence the Cosmos have received, and the rumors of Islanders’ interest may now have provided a possible answer on why there is deafening silence coming from the state.
The report also indicates that NYRA did not respond to requests for comment and that the Islanders said the club does not comment on rumor and speculation.
TICC also received no comment from the Cosmos when we reached out.
It’s not clear how far discussions have progressed, although sources told Newsday talks are still in the preliminary stages and the same outlet released a story earlier stating souces had told them the hockey team might approach the Mets about an arena by Citi Field.
With a wait of over three years and no clear indication of a Plan B, it’s difficult to pinpoint where this leaves the Cosmos, but it’s likely it leaves in the vicinity of trouble and concern.
My hockey team is the Islanders and, for them, Belmont makes complete sense. How does this impact my Cosmos? That is the question.
With the state withdrawing Lot A from the RFP, you can be positive and say, You can build a hockey arena on Lot A and the Cosmos plan on Lot B and everyone is happy, but seriously, how positive can you be?
The fact that after all these years, the state is even engaging in a conversation with the Islanders, even if just an exploratory one, is a slap in the face to the Cosmos. ‘We can not make up our mind on an RFP that has been around for years but we have time to sit down to consider a hockey arena in the area’ (Obviously they did not say this but you can read it that way).
The time has come to come out and announce what Plan B is…if there even is one.