SBD/November 9, 2012/Facilities

A Closer Look At The USTA's Proposed Expansion Of Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Proposed additions would add 10,000 more grounds passes during the U.S. Open
The USTA has “begun a push to garner public support for the planned expansion of its current home in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” but the increase in space “would require the relinquishing of just over half an acre of parkland and has been met with some consternation by members of the community,” according to Joseph Orovic of the QUEENS CHRONICLE. The National Tennis Center’s upgrade “calls for a relocation of the current Grandstand stadium, a renovation of Louis Armstrong stadium, as well as additional courts and parking facilities.” The USTA claims that the plan would “alienate a total of .68 acres of what is currently parkland along its facility’s eastern edge.” By comparison, MLS’ proposed 25,000-seat stadium in the park "would cost the park up to 13 acres of land.” Local groups have “emerged in opposition to both plans wholesale, lumping the two together in what has been deemed a sneaky machination that would not be considered in more prestigious parks in Manhattan and Brooklyn.” Some members of the Fairness Coalition of Queens have “taken to calling the USTA’s plan an ‘incremental landgrab,’ positing the nonprofit will continue to ask for small chunks of land in the coming decades.” The USTA’s "original footprint in the park started at 22 acres in 1978, growing to its present 42 acres in the mid-1990s.” But USTA Managing Dir of Facility Operations Daniel Zausner emphasized that the organization has “no intention of expanding in the future.” Zausner: “We have nowhere to go.” Orovic notes the proposed additions to the facilities “will add 10,000 more daily grounds passes during the US Open” (QUEENS CHRONICLE, 11/9).
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