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New York Cosmos


August 24, 2013
Cosmos' Stover explains how 11,929 was reached

By Michael Lewis Editor

According to the 2013 Hofstra men's lacrosse media guide, a record 13,447 spectators jammed into James M. Shuart Stadium to watch the 2011 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse tournament quarterfinals.

According to the New York Cosmos, a sellout crowd of 11,929 watched the North American Soccer League team defeat the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, in their return to competitive soccer in almost three decades on Aug. 3.

So, what gives? Well, there is a reason for the discrepancy.

Let's let Cosmos Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover explain.

"When we made the deal with Hofstra we were told the stadium was seated about 13,000 people," Stover said during a phone interview last week. "But they didn't have a seating manifest. The way they handle most of their events, it's general admission. So you have a ticket and you sit anywhere you want. So they were sort of estimating what the capacity was.

"We had to hire an architect. We laid out the stadium in cad. We put section numbers in, row numbers in and seat numbers in and laid it out in a way that was comfortable. When we finished that, we came to 11,929 seats." Stover said that about 500 of those seats were partially obstructed, "so I guess the best sellable capacity is around 11,500."

But for the Cosmos' season opener, the club sold obstructed view seats, so the capacity was 11,929.

According to the Cosmos' original president, Clive Toye, the all-time soccer record at the stadium is 13,205, which attended the Cosmos' international friendly against FC Dynamo Moscow on Aug. 30, 1972.

The Cosmos won that encounter, 2-1.

Counting the house again and again

There seems to be so many attendance records when it comes to Hofstra Stadium.

Here is a quick, handy guide to quantify the various highs and lows at the stadium through the years:

Largest soccer and international friendly crowd

13,205 -- in a 2-1 win over FC Dynamo Moscow on Aug. 30, 1972

Largest professional crowd (regular season)

11,658 -- in a 2-1 Long Island Rough Riders' win over the New York/New Jersey MetroStars on July 30, 1997

Largest Cosmos attendance (regular season, 1972-73)

9,075 -- in a 1-0 win over the Rochester Lancers on May 6, 1973

Largest Cosmos attendance (playoffs)

6,102 -- in a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Stars in the NASL championship game on Aug. 26, 1972.

Incidentally, Josef Jelinek and Randy Horton scored in that game. Lowest Cosmos attendance (1972-73) 1,200 -- in a 2-1 win over the Toronto Metros on June 18, 1972

A little history

In case you were wondering, the stadium was named Hofstra Stadium in 1963 and was renamed James M. Shuart Stadium in 2002.

Shuart, a former Hofstra president, played football and lacrosse during his days at the school. The stadium has hosted several sports teams and events. The list includes the Long island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, the Long Island Rough Riders, when the team played in the A-league, numerous high Long Island football and soccer championships, the NCAA Division I men's and women's lacrosse championships, the Long Island All-Star Football Game and the Fun City Bowl, which feature the New York City Police and Fire Departments.

The stadium became only the third college facility in the country to install artificial turf in 1968.

It underwent a major renovation in 1996, in which the seating capacity was expanded from 7,000 to 13,000, according to the media guide. Shuart Stadium became the lartest outdoor sports facility on Long Island. Six years ago, FieldTurf was installed on the field and new scoreboards were added on the north and south ends of the field. In 2012, the existing FieldTurf was replaced by the new FieldTurf Revolution.

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