Erik Stover: “I have many of the same questions that our fans have”


Erik Stover [Photo: New York Cosmos]

TICC was at the presentation of the NASL Fall trophy on Thursday and had a chance to speak with New York Cosmos COO Erik Stover, addressing a number of concerns fans have demonstrated in regard to their club.

“Listen, I get it,” he stated. “When I started in this position, we said we were going to be open and transparent and talk about how this club operates. It’s been very quiet the last few months. And a big part of that is people have questions. I have many of the same questions that our fans have and I don’t have answers at the moment to all of them.”

“But, we do hope, over the next few weeks, that we will start addressing some of the questions that are out there,” he continued. “And I know when there’s an information vacuum, then the speculation starts, people start making up scenarios, conspiracy theories, and all this stuff and it’s not how I want to operate a club, but we’ve been in a situation for several months now where not speculating publicly about answers that we don’t have has been the best tactic.”

“I know it’s been hard for everybody, it’s not how I want to operate this team but, I think we’re going to be coming out of this soon and we’ll have a lot of information to share over the next few weeks.”

However, he was able to lay one rumor to rest: the possibility of the Cosmos selling the hosting rights to the NASL Final. Originally reported by Fifty Five-One, it was reported that the club might be considering selling the rights to host the NASL Final should they win their semifinal. With scheduling complications at Hofstra, it appeared unlikely the Cosmos would be able to host the match at their home ground since 2013.

“We haven’t made a final decision on that yet, but we hope to make an announcement here soon. But, the rumor and the blog story about selling the game is not true. We’re not selling the game. There may have been some discussion on some level, not involving me to think about selling it, but I don’t think anybody in our organization thought that was a good decision. And it’s always been about trying to manage the challenges we have at Hofstra.”

“We were willing to possibly play the Soccer Bowl, if we advance, on a weekday. I think the league was okay with that. And we just couldn’t get any cooperation out of the university for that kind of decision and it’s been very frustrating. So we’ve had a few options throughout this year that we’ve been bouncing back and forth on what’s the best and none of them are perfect. We have a great record playing here, our guys are comfortable playing here and we would ideally want to play our championship here.”

“That’s not going to happen, but where we play in the New York Metro area, we expect to announce in the coming days.”

On the subject of home fields, TICC did inquire if there were any updates as to what facility the Cosmos would call home for the 2017 season.

“Nothing I could share at this point.”

TICC attempted to find out any updates on the status of the three teams in question for 2017: the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Ottawa Fury, and Rayo OKC. Stover had no input as he is not involved in those discussions However, he did share his thoughts on the recent NASL Summit, indicating that positive things had come out of that meeting, but there was still plenty of work to be done and many questions to be answered by the NASL in light of the rumors circulating about the state of the league.

“Well, I wasn’t in that meeting, I didn’t participate. I don’t know what was discussed. I think it was a good meeting from what I hear from people who participated in a volatile time to sit down and talk about all these things. I’ve been very open, on my personal opinion, that I think the 5 to 10-year process of US Soccer growing is going to be volatile. That things are going to happen that look like sideways steps or steps backwards and, in some cases, they are steps backwards. But I think the Commissioner and the Board of Governors have a lot of work to do over the next few months.”

He closed out with a thought that could appeal to both Cosmos fans and fans around the league.

“From what I understand, it’s not as doomsday as some folks may think it is of some rumors that have been out there. But, similar to the Cosmos, NASL fans have questions that need to be answered and I think that’ll happen over the next few months.”


8 thoughts on “Erik Stover: “I have many of the same questions that our fans have”

    • Yeah, that does seem a little fishy.

      And while it’s good that Stover is finally breaking the club’s silence, “I’m being kept in the dark as much as you” isn’t exactly reassuring. Neither did he actually address anything in Leo’s month-old open letter to the owners.

      So nothing’s really changed, has it?

  1. I am confident in our COO Mr. Stover. For the present moment let’s concentrate in the semifinal game on Nov 5 and like Gio says, let’s play it as if it was a final.

  2. I think we all know what’s going to happen, NASL will survive but with investors from outside the US, such as oil only or Asian money.
    We all will never know what NASL plans to be or what they tell their future expansion teams, but one thing for sure, NASL wants any kind of investors in NASL just to make cosmos happy and make MLS life miserable.
    As for the cosmos, I’m gonna laugh at you when some billionaire buys red bull and eventually become huge.
    Cosmos need new owners and front office.

  3. Las respuestas siempre son tan ambiguas que más que respuestas son preguntas. Casi uno diría ¿por qué contestar así?, pero en fin…. parece que nada es muy claro ni en la NASL, ni en el (glorioso) Cosmos. Supongo que podemos olvidarnos de las dudas por unos días y concentrarnos en los partidos que vienen. Esperando añadir una estrella más en nuestra constelación. Es triste ver que el NOMBRE MÁS CONOCIDO del fútbol de USA a nivel global, el mítico Cosmos, no logra avanzar demasiado, atrapado en una liga que, según parece, que queda chica. Vamos Cosmos!!

  4. Hey Erik,

    Instead of continuing negotiations with Hofstra, an institution that wants nothing to do with the Cosmos, how about you find a new home in NYC proper? Maybe its because you don’t know what you’re doing? The Cosmos slit their own throats when they decided upon a self imposed exile to Long Island, you fool. Let me help you out. Step 1. Move to MCU
    Step 2. Public Apology to the fans and supporters of this club. Admit that tremendous administrative oversights and throwing the most rabid fans of this club under the bus were terrible mistakes.

  5. The NY Cosmos are at their roots a NYC team. I stuck it out through a year and a half of season tickets schlepping to Long Island with my kids and family, but the Long Island location made it impossible to keep pulling off. If you move to anywhere reachable by subway, I will be the first in line to renew my family’s season tickets. MCU Park would be fine; the seat alignment issues are not a big enough problem to counteract the big wins of being INSIDE NYC, relatively near a subway and the much-improved concessions situation. Get one of those artificial field covers for the Cosmos games, and it’ll work itself out. Being homed in NYC brings you a much larger potential fan base. The message of legacy you keep pitching is much stronger if you were actually in NYC.

    Whatever you do though, don’t bother with Ichann Stadium on Randalls Island. It’s impossible to get to or out of for any kind of event. Was there this weekend for a FDNY/NYPD/CERT drill, and it took two hours to get home because we had the bad luck to wrap when Cirque du Soliel ended. An hour alone for a bus to get off the island and to a train station. I’d trek out to Belson or even Bakersfield any day over Randalls Island.

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