SBD/October 10, 2012/Facilities

MLS' Flushing Meadows Soccer Stadium Proposal Raises Concerns For USTA

MLS stadium site would be a "substantial distance" from subways and trains
The USTA “could prove the most intriguing and deep-pocketed opponent” of MLS’ proposal to "build a 25,000-seat stadium smack in the middle of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,” according to Michael Powell of the N.Y. TIMES. Many local residents “look with suspicion on the USTA as it, too, plans to take another small bite out of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.” USTA officials “view a soccer stadium with concern.” A soccer stadium in the middle of the park, unlike Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, would “sit a substantial distance from subways and trains” and would most likely “require more roads and parking, crossing close to the tennis center.” MLS officials have “spoken of using the stadium for concerts, all of which would make it a cacophonous neighbor for the tennis complex.” USTA Exec Dir & COO Gordon Smith said, “It raises a lot of concerns for us. We ought to be considered in a very different light, because we raise almost none of those complications.” Powell noted MLS has “commissioned an architect to draw up pretty and crowd-pleasing drawings for the stadium.” Meanwhile, the USTA “wants to build a new tennis facility and parking garages," but "often is a reasonable neighbor.” When the USTA “cut a deal" with the administration of former N.Y. Mayor David Dinkins to build a new facility in the early '90s, it "agreed to build dozens of tennis courts and let residents use them most weeks of the year.” USTA also “pays about $2.5 million a year to the city" (NYTIMES.com, 10/8).
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Facilities, MLS, USTA

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