Monday, April 29, 2013

MLS hopes To Reveal Flushing Meadows Park Soccer Stadium Plan In 4 To 6 Weeks

“If we get this done, it will be in Flushing Meadows Park. There is no Plan B,” MLS commissioner Don Garber told the AP on Thursday.

Major League Soccer hopes to build a controversial $300 million, 35,000-seat soccer stadium/concert venue on the Fountain of the Planets site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park located on the Flushing River. Families bike around  the fountain last weekend. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


Major League Soccer hopes to announce plans in four to six weeks for a stadium in Queens for a 20th team, according to the Associated Press.

The league and New York City have been involved in negotiations to build a stadium on a 10-acre site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. MLS hopes a team there would start play in 2016 and be rivals of the New York Red Bulls, who play in Harrison, N.J.

“If we get this done, it will be in Flushing Meadow Park. There is no Plan B,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber told the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday.

Garber said the league hopes to have an agreement with New York City, with the New York Mets’ ownership group to use the parking lots at Citi Field and with an ownership group that would pay a $100 million expansion fee.

Several hurdles would remain, including New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and consideration by the local Community Planning Board. The parkland used for arena would have to be replaced.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports the stadium. His term expires at the end of the year, and none of the candidates to succeed him has backed the project.

“I think it was really good that they didn’t say no,” Garber said. “It shows that there’s some political value in not yet taking a stand.”

Passive recreation area in the park that would be destroyed in order to build replacement artificial turf fields under Major League Soccer's plan.

The revived New York Cosmos, who start play in the second-tier North American Soccer League on Aug. 3, are not discussing bidding to become the new MLS team. Garber said he speaks with the Cosmos owners but was dismissive of their efforts.

The Cosmos played the majority of their seasons at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

“The Cosmos are a very storied brand steeped in the past,” he said. “Pele is not playing for them anymore, and neither is Franz Beckenbauer.”

Read More:

CBSNewYork/AP - April 25, 2013

New York Post - April 26, 2013 - By Rich Calder

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