He is like Robert Moses, a big project guy.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is a major regional sports power broker. Cuomo pushed to get the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders owners a new home on the state-owned Belmont Racetrack property. Cuomo put $12.5 million of state funding into the renovation of the Syracuse baseball park, a stadium used by the New York Mets ownership for its Triple A minor league affiliate. Fred Wilpon, who is part of the ownership the Mets, also owns the Syracuse team and Wilpon’s real estate company is part of the team doing the Islanders Belmont Park construction. Cuomo put $22 million into a Utica sports complex. In 2017, Cuomo threw the backers of a plan to renovate the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into an ice-skating rink complex with a 5,000-seat arena a $108 million loan to keep the project going. The armory construction has not started as backers continue to struggle to find money to start the work.
Cuomo has other sports initiatives. What does he do in western New York as the Buffalo Bills ownership lease with local authorities to use the Orchard Park, New York football stadium is coming to an end? What does he do with downstate horse racing and downstate sports gambling? The National Football League’s Buffalo Bills ownership is completing work on a stadium study which could mean three things. Get the Orchard Park facility renovated again, move downtown or move out of the region. Bills ownership also owns the National Hockey League’s Sabres and ownership is trying to figure out what to do with the arena to get it up to state-of-the-art status. Cuomo also has to figure out if Belmont should be the only downstate thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing facility and end racing at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway. Additionally, should Cuomo allow downstate New Yorkers to have sports gambling? He needs answers in a hurry.