With the season's home opener and Brooklyn debut next month, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Alliance for Coney Island have officially welcomed the New York Cosmos to their new home at MCU Park. Over 500 guests broke (Italian) bread at the legendary Gargiulo's Restaurant (just across the street from the stadium) as players and staff, elected officials, local business owners and fans gathered to applaud the soccer team's arrival and new leadership under Chairman Rocco B. Commisso.
"Great soccer, great chicken parm and a great view of the Cyclone - it doesn't get much better than this," said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Andrew Hoan. "We are so excited to officially welcome the NY Cosmos to Brooklyn and Coney Island's MCU Park, and so pleased for the extra kick they'll bring to Brooklyn's economy."
"We are excited to have the New York Cosmos joining us in Coney Island and adding to the slate of exciting activities and events in Coney Island. Days after the first Cosmos game in Coney Island, the amusements will officially open for the 2017 season on April 9th! We invite all Brooklynites and New Yorkers to visit us this summer and enjoy all we have to offer," said Executive Director of the Alliance for Coney Island, Alexandra Silversmith.
The dinner and reception included Gargiulo's legendary Italian fare, some gifts for the Cosmos and a number of elected officials praising Commisso who is also the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications Corporation, for a great job rebuilding the organization. After playing a video of the soccer team's proud heritage, which included a stint at Yankee stadium in the 70s, Commisso addressed the crowd -- reiterating his personal history with the sport which began as a young boy in Calabria, Italy.
"With our move to MCU Park in Brooklyn, we are returning America's most iconic soccer team to the New York City roots where it all began in 1971," said New York Cosmos Chairman, Rocco B. Commisso. "Combining the excitement of Cosmos' matches with the vibrant atmosphere and accessibility of Coney Island is a win-win for soccer enthusiasts throughout the metropolitan area. The April 1st home opener will mark the start of a new era in the storied history of our club, and promises to be a special occasion for everyone who attends."
"We are thrilled to be moving to our new home in Brooklyn," said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese. "The two previous matches our club played at MCU Park were a huge success, and I know Cosmos fans of all ages will enjoy everything that Coney Island has to offer."
"I'm glad to see that the legendary New York Cosmos picked MCU Park in Brooklyn as their pitch for the 2017 season," said Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams. "As a truly global sport, soccer is beloved by fans across six continents speaking a variety of languages, all while united in their love of the game. It's so fitting that the Cosmos come to Brooklyn- a city of more than 2.6 million people that truly embodies the incredible diversity of America and the world. I wish them the best of luck, and I hope all of their fans take advantage of all of the wonderful entertainment and dining options that Coney Island has to offer."
"I am thrilled to welcome the New York Cosmos to Brooklyn, which I know will be a winning home for them for years to come. The Brooklyn community will now have another family fun option to enjoy locally in their neighborhood. Brooklyn continues to be a model of success for the rest of the City and State," said State Senator, Diane Savino.
"The New York Cosmos were an institution here, and their return to American soccer in 2010 was an exciting one," said Assemblymember, Pamela Harris. "Brooklyn is ready to welcome them with open arms; their arrival will not only delight soccer fans - it will open more residents and visitors up to the sport, and help our local businesses. The Cosmos coming to Coney Island really is a win for us all."
"It's no coincidence that one of our city's most diverse neighborhoods will now be a place to see this global game played at such a high level. The Cosmos taking the pitch at MCU Park is a hat trick, creating new employment opportunities for local residents, adding another exciting option to the growing lineup of attractions at the People's Playground, and giving a whole new generation an opportunity to enjoy one of our city's legendary sports clubs," said City Council Member, Mark Treyger.
"We are honored to have a professional soccer team, the New York Cosmos, come to Coney Island. We have local fans that now can easily get to a soccer game during the season. This will add to the variety of entertainment to our community. Welcome to the neighborhood!" said Community Board 13 District Manager, Eddie Mark.
The team will host a total of 16 regular season NASL matches at MCU Park this year, beginning with the home opener on Saturday, April 1 at 7:00 pm against Miami FC. Tickets are on sale now, for more information click here. For more information about the New York Cosmos, visit www.nycosmos.com.
For more information about the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, visit www.ibrooklyn.com.
For more information about the Alliance for Coney Island, visit www.allianceforconeyisland.org.