Brigada 71 Calls For Renewed Commitment From Cosmos Management
The Cosmos are an inseparable part of New York City — our city — and its identity. Brigada 71 is made up of New Yorkers of all backgrounds from different walks of life. Many know us for our politics and activism, but we are first and foremost New York Cosmos supporters. Some of us have supported the club since the 1970’s, while others have fallen in love with the club during the reboot. Although we have taken different roads to get here, we are bound together by our undeniable devotion to the badge. The 5 Points collective is steadfast in our commitment to uphold and protect the legacy of this club. Thus, the following statement comes from a place of loyalty and love.
2019 was a poor season for the Cosmos – one which we do not wish to see repeated again. We speak not of the achievements on the field; we are proud of the players who fought for the badge and we celebrate them.
Instead, what concerns us is what happened off the field: a general lack of investment in the club, an understaffed and reactive Front Office, a general lack of direction, little to no promotion and outreach to fans and prospective fans, and – the biggest issue for us – playing games in an unsuitable venue which led to dwindling attendances. We, as well as other NYC-based fans, had to contend with a 5-hour long round trip (subway to the LIRR to the bus then a 30 minute walk) costing $40 for every single home game. This led to many fans being put-off or priced out of going to games. What made matters worse was that while playing in time-expensive and cost-prohibitive Long Island, Long Island based fans did not show up in any significant numbers either. Each match was worse than the one before despite free tickets and misreported attendances.
Fast forward to the present. We understand and appreciate how COVID-19 has put sports as we know it on hold. However, we believe the problems which we have highlighted above predate this pandemic; they are fundamental flaws which the current uncertainty in the world is only amplifying. Right up to the last moments of the season, we saw no evidence indicating anything would be done differently going forward.
We want to see our club do better. We want to see the club actively prepare for a future when fans are able to attend games again. We call for the New York Cosmos to be properly funded and staffed, the club and games to be properly promoted, and most importantly: the Cosmos to return to playing in New York City. Nothing less than this will suffice when it comes to growing and sustaining interest in an increasingly crowded soccer scene.
2021 will be the 50th anniversary of the Cosmos. We are the true NYC originals. We look forward to celebrating this legendary moment on packed bleachers in the greatest city in the world; the city we call home.