Monday, December 3, 2012

MLS's Soccer Flushing Meadows Proposal Far From "Finish Line"

“I’d much rather hear somebody say, ‘Not for sale.’ One of the things we don’t have enough of is open space. I’m very concerned about the land grab.” -  Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair.

Footprint
The proposed Major League Soccer project in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.  MLS's plan would seize 13 acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park - only half of which is now occupied by the Fountain of Planets - in order to built a 25,000 (expandable to 35,000) seat stadium and concert venue. (Rendering: MLS)

Queens

By Geoffrey Croft

Just a week after Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber claimed a Flushing Meadows stadium was nearing "the finish line," a meeting of the Queens County Board learned last night the league was actually years away from having a finished plan.

Speaking after an intense PR blitz by the league, MLS President Mark Abbott refused to contradict his boss’ imminent start date. But it was hard to see how a realistic proposal could come together when the league had yet to locate an acceptable replacement park site, or develop a parking plan, much less find an owner for the new team or figure out how to pay for the stadium.


Nowhere Near The "Finish Line." Major League Soccer President Mark Abbott addressing the Queens County Board on Monday night at Queens Borough Hall. The proposal faces numerous obstacles including city, state and federal approvals, strong community opposition and inevitable lawsuits over the proposed public land grab. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) click on images to enlarge 


“There’s a lot of discussions we still need to have,” said Abbott, who added the league is considering "a very long list of possible replacement land." Abbott vowed MLS would invest "tens of millions" in the park, but he would not be specific.
 
With a projected opening date in 2016, the stadium would grab 13 acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, only half of which is now occupied by the Fountain of Planets. Seven heavily used soccer fields would be moved and bunched together west of the stadium, creating a “very crowded” situation, complained Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. 

While many of the board members complained about the stadium creating traffic nightmares, Joe Conley, chair of Community Board 2, was the voice of reason. “I’d much rather hear somebody say, ‘Not for sale.’ One of the things we don’t have enough of is open space. I’m very concerned about the land grab.”



"When I look at that picture it looks very crowded in the park," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall seen here examining the plans (above-center).  Ms. Marshall was fully supportive of the NY Jet's plan in 2005 to seize 15 acres of public parkland in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to build a new 80,000-seat stadium on the site of the Fountain of the Planets. 


MLS is holding a townhall meeting on the project at 7 p.m. tonight, December 4, at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, next to the Queens Museum of Art.

After a number of well attended community organized town hall meetings were held in opposition to Major League Soccer's proposal the league is doing a dog & pony show Tuesday night.

Read More: 



A Walk In The Park - November 30, 2012 


Fairness Coalition Of Queens


Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Under Siege
New York Daily News - October 22, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft


A Walk In The Park - October 10, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - October 9, 2012

A Walk In The Park - October 9, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - October 6, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - October 5, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - October 4, 2012 

A Walk In The Park - October 2,  2012 

A Walk In The Park - September 15, 2012 -  By Geoffrey Croft 


A Walk In The Park - June 23, 2012


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