Saturday, September 15, 2012

Major League Soccer Pushing For Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Land

Flushing Meadow- Corona Park Under-Siege. Major League Soccer (MLS) is pushing to build a 25,000 seat professional soccer stadium on nine acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The plan calls for filling in the former Pool of Industry from the 1964 Worlds Fair (above) and convert it into a soccer stadium. MLS had also been pushing to build a stadium on another swath of parkland - Hudson River Park in Manhattan. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge it.


By Geoffrey Croft

State Senator Jose Peralta is apparently not grasping that the proposed project would be in the center of a 1200 acre heavily used public park.

"Major League Soccer is going to make a great economic impact in this area, he told told WABC News,

"And we're talking about over 2,000 construction union jobs. We're talking about 1,100 permanent jobs when it comes down to it. And that's what it's all about. It's about bringing economic development back into Queens."

The "area" he refers to which that he says will create a "great economic impact" is a public park which by law can not be for such purposes. In fact State law - which he has taken an oath to uphold - prohibit such commercial development.

The 1200 acre Flushing Meadow- Corona Park, and the surrounding community is currently under-siege by two other commercial projects being proposed; a 8,000-seat U.S. Tennis Association stadium, including a large parking garage, and an enormous mall next to Citi Field as part of the EDC's Willets Point Development that the City is not planning seeking parkland alienation approval for.

Both the State Senator and the Mayor seem to be confused about where exactly these projects are located.

A Bloomberg spokesperson said the projects are vital to reviving - (again), "the area."

"In all of our conversations with Queens community groups, we hear the same message consistently: the borough needs more jobs and economic activity. These projects would meet that need in spectacular fashion and provide employment to thousands of Queens residents," said spokeswoman Julie Wood.

Plently of Work - No jobs. If jobs are the goal then Peralta and Bloomberg should be supporting the hiring of desperately needed permanent workers to maintain, program and the secure Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The Mayor along with the City Council have continuously allocated a fraction of the funds needed for our public parks and instead have been increasing making deals that commercially exploit our parks.

A public scoping meeting for Willets Point Development is being held on Thursday, September 27, 2012, at P.S. 19 Marino Jeantet, 98-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, New York, at 4:30 P.M

Opponents of the plans are calling for a full environmental review of all three projects to access the cumulative impacts before any of the projects begin ULURP.

Read/View More:

In the Boroughs: Biz eyes kick from soccer
But park advocates wary of Flushing Meadows stadium
Crain's New York Business - September 16, 2012 - By Amanda Fung

WABC - September 14, 2012 - By Lisa Colagrossi

Willets Point United - August 27, 2012

A Walk In The Park - June 23, 2012

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