Proposed MLS Venue In Queens Gaining Local Support, But Still Faces Hurdles
The prospect of a new venue for a potential MLS team in Queens, N.Y., is “winning the thumbs-up from everyone from soccer fans and local business owners to community and elected officials,” according to Amanda Fung of CRAIN’S N.Y. BUSINESS. But advocates looking to maintain the Flushing Meadows Corona Park site already are “up in arms over the possible loss of public space for yet another sports stadium.” MLS picked Flushing Meadows in June “after three years of scouring the city for a site.” The plan “calls for the league to fund the building of the stadium." Sources said that construction "could begin as soon as next year, and that it could be completed in time” for the opening of the '14 MLS season. The $300M venue “would be constructed on the site of what is officially known as the Pool of Industry.” Since choosing the site, MLS has been “meeting with local, city and state officials to iron out an agreement that would allow the league to take over the city-owned land in exchange for creating an equal amount elsewhere.” To “sweeten the deal, MLS has agreed to refurbish the park's nine well-used soccer fields.” Sources said that the league also is working on a deal with the Mets to "share its parking facility so it would not have to build its own.” That means MLS and MLB games “would not overlap.” However, obtaining the necessary city and state approvals “will still take a lot of fancy footwork” (CRAIN’S N.Y. BUSINESS, 9/15 issue).