November 8, 2012
Stover named COO of the Cosmos
By Michael Lewis
|Erik Stover inspects the newsly printed grass at Red Bull Arena when he was Red Bulls managing director.
Photo courtesy of the Red Bulls
The man who oversaw the construction of Red Bull Arena will now oversee the New York Cosmos.
Former Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover was named the Chief Operating Officer of the Cosmos on Thursday.
BigAppleSoccer.com broke the story on Wednesday night.
Stover will be responsible for all facets of the operation on and off the field. A 16-year veteran of the sports and entertainment industry, STover has held senior management positions with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (Giants Stadium and IZOD Center) and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
He oversaw the construction and operation of $200 million Red Bull Arena. Stover also helped recruit former French international Thierry Henry, who joined the team in July 2010.
When Stover left the Red Bulls in August of 2011, they had risen from the bottom of MLS in attendance to No. 4, which included a 150 percent increase in season ticket holders. For his accomplishments, he was honored with the 2010 MLS Executive of the Year Award.
"With his knowledge of the local community, combined with a deep experience in soccer, stadium management and the sports and entertainment industry, Erik has the perfect credentials to lead the management of the Cosmos franchise,” Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien said in a statement. “We are delighted to have him on board and look forward to working with him day to day as we retrace our journey back to the top of soccer in North America."
Stover, who was named the MLS executive of the year in 2010, also looked forward to his latest challenge.
"I'm excited to be part of the rebirth of the New York Cosmos,” he said in a statement. “Seamus O'Brien and the rest of the board have a vision to build a proper soccer club in New York. We have a great legacy to live up to and I'm eager to get started right away."
The Cosmos are expected to name a new coach soon.
The Cosmos will return as a North American Soccer League expansion at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, L.I.