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Queens residents who love Flushing Meadows Park can breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like the soccer stadium proposed there will be built in the Bronx instead.
The $400 million arena, to be used by a Major League Soccer franchise, is expected to be built south of Yankee Stadium, according to published reports. It will be located at the site of a bankrupt parking garage and adjacent property.
It was a great triumph for the people of Queens when public opposition, led by civic activists and echoed in community newspaper editorials and internet blog posts, defeated the misguided plan to build a professional soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The vast wealth of the New York Yankees and their business acumen also were key, as the team made a deal with Major League Soccer that the Mets had declined, meaning the stadium will probably be built in the Bronx, if anywhere.
The city’s Landmark Preservation Commission denied a proposal by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) to designate Flushing Meadows Corona Park as a historical site.
Now he’s asking for a do-over.
Big Social Security disability case could benefit thousands
Once, twice, three times the parkland is what Avella seeks
Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) may not make the most noise of the Democrats running for Queens Borough President. But he includes his demeanor among the tools he says are necessary to lead the borough for the next four years.
“You don’t need to scream and yell to let people know you’re upset about something, or have a passion for getting something done,” the three-term councilman said. “You don’t have to insult someone. I’ve banged on a table. I’ve yelled at the mayor. I’ve argued with the speaker, but I’ve done it in-house.
“We’ll have to get back to you on that.”
During the entirety of the United States Tennis Association’s public testimony regarding its proposed expansion within Flushing Meadows Corona Park, “We’ll have to get back to you on that” has become a fall-back option for some of the more uncomfortable questions surrounding the project.
The motto for Major League Soccer’s initial push to establish a franchise and stadium in New York City was “Let’s bring pro soccer to Queens.”
But now an elected official from across the East River is saying “Let’s bring pro soccer to the Bronx.”
The United States Tennis Association’s planned expansion within Flushing Meadows Corona Park is winding its way through the required input and approval process, as both state legislatures now have bills before them that would allow the alienation of parkland in exchange for land the nonprofit said it needs in order to expand.
The bills before the state Senate and Assembly would let the USTA substitute 1.5 acres of land currently under its leasehold for 0.68 acre along its flank.
Incredulity and perplexity reigned last Friday during a City Council hearing regarding the state of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, with Parks Department staff enduring the brunt of questioning at the hands of a Parks Committee largely made up of Queens lawmakers.
The questioning surrounded the current state of a park accustomed to a fraction of the attention left over from its more famous brethren. Dollar and staffing figures revealed a dearth of resources in the face of escalating need.
The newest and most controversial candidate in the mayoral race, Anthony Weiner, said he knows he’s got a lot to prove but believes New Yorkers will be looking forward when choosing the next mayor this fall.
“We’re making a big mistake if we think that voters are looking to the past,” Weiner said in a sitdown last Friday with the Queens Chronicle staff, the first of his candidacy. “When they go to flip that switch, it is a fundamental, forward-looking, aspirational thing.”
A trio of big-ticket projects has put Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the sights of community activists, parks advocates and Queens residents; its chewed up fields, persistent flooding and dilapidated state have become part of a broader discussion about the economic inequality between parks across the city.
In Flushing Meadows’ case, the shoddy conditions justified pushes by the city and developers to find alternate uses, including an expansion of the United States Tennis Association’s grounds, the creation of a mall alongside Citi Field and a Major League Soccer stadium.
The newest and most controversial candidate in the mayoral race, Anthony Weiner, said he knows he’s got a lot to prove but believes New Yorkers will be looking forward when choosing the next mayor.
“We’re making a big mistake if we think that voters are looking to the past,” Weiner said in a sitdown Friday with the Queens Chronicle editorial staff, the first of his candidacy. “When they go to flip that switch, it is a fundamental, forward-looking, aspirational thing.”
A duo of megalith sports franchises, the New York Yankees and Britain’s Manchester City Football Club, announced on Monday Major League Soccer’s 20th franchise and second foray in the tri-state metropolitan area: New York City Football Club.
As officials from MLS, the Bronx Bombers, Abu Dhabi-owned Man City and Mayor Bloomberg congratulated each other during a Tuesday press conference rolling out the franchise, there was one notable absence: the Unisphere, which had become ubiquitous in the league’s push to build a home in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The ongoing saga of Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the city’s apparent acquiescence in defiling Queens’ crown jewel with yet another massive structure, took two major turns this week.
First, it was announced that in addition to the Arab sheikh who would be the majority owner of the new team that would play there, the New York Yankees would take a 25 percent stake in the franchise. That just adds to our contention that there is no way to justify Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to give our parkland away. Both the sheikh and the Yankees have extremely deep pockets, and if they want to build a stadium somewhere in the city, they can afford to buy the land to do it.
Queens Chronicle Asst. Managing/Online Editor Joseph Orovic's article — actually expose would be a more accurate description — about an Abu Dhabi oil multibillionaire prince who would appear to be Mayor Bloomberg’ s choice for a Major Soccer League stadium, where else but in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, represents excellent journalism (“UAE’s Sheikh Monsour to be FMCP’s MLS king,” May 2).
Equally worthy of applause is the Chronicle’s editorial condemnation of not just giving away parkland, but giving it to someone whose wealth is directly related to a repressive government whose policies “are not ones that most Americans would find tolerable” (“No park giveaway to an oil billionaire for soccer,” May 2).
With apologies to William Shakespeare, the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but at the feet of the current occupant of the office of mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. In the almost 12 years he has held the office, he not only never lifted a finger to reverse the neglect inflicted on
FMCP, the second-most used park in our municipal park system (primarily by the less privileged), but has actively participated in giving up FMCP land, a nonrenewable resource, to private interests.
The expansion of the United States Tennis Association complex in the park; on the horizon a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lots, which were built on FMCP land; and a Major League Soccer stadium capable of seating up to 35,000 people are all part of Bloomberg’s romance with the wealthy and indifference to the little people. He fails to understand parks are the lifeblood of an urban society, or if he does understand, he is contemptuous of the people who need and use the park.
I believe if Frederick Law Olmstead, the genius who created Central and Prospect parks in this city and important parks elsewhere, was still alive, he would not break bread with Bloomberg, and justifiably so.
The United States Tennis Association, three Queens elected officials and some parks advocates this week lauded a deal with the city that would have the nonprofit “replace” land it wants so it can expand its National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The accord reached between the nonprofit and city represents a unique bargain: according to a press release sent by the USTA, it replaces the 0.68 acre of parkland needed for its expansion with 1.56 acres of what looks like, is used as and mapped as existing parkland already within Flushing Meadows.
Sorry, park advocates, the Major League Soccer stadium planned for Flushing Meadows is a done deal. And, some of you same folks will lament the fact that the Ridgewood Theatre will never be a performance venue again. Lastly, you fans of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) will be disappointed to learn she will not be the next mayor of New York.
These were all revelations made to this writer on Tuesday. Do I have a crystal ball? No. (After all, I was liking Curtis Sliwa’s pick in the Kentucky Derby until the darn horse scratched at the last minute). No, what I had was a conversation with Queens’ own celebrity psychic, Jesse Bravo.
Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has re-emerged this week, jangling a borough that has spent the better part of three months focused elsewhere.
The league once again contends it’s weeks away from finalizing a deal with the city, as it did last fall. This time, the league may have found an oil-rich owner for the proposed franchise: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
The graffiti that once lined the interior of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is slowly becoming a thing of the past, as a crew of preservationists spent last weekend giving the historic site a fresh coat of candy striping.
Armed with 18 gallons of red, white and yellow paint, a crew of five World’s Fair aficionados repainted a sizeable portion of the pavilion’s rotunda.
Re “Searching for a new vision of FMCP,” April 25, multiple editions:
It does not take a rocket scientist to make a decision concerning a Major Soccer League stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. All one needs to know is the site is parkland in FMCP, a park that for years has not only been neglected, but systematically alienated piece by piece for structures and for organizations that have no legitimate right to be in the park.
The culprits are too many myopic public officials who do not understand the importance of urban parks. That City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras cannot flat-out reject a soccer stadium for the benefit of a private, for-profit business makes it clear she is a member in good standing with the mediocrity who should not be on the public payroll. While Ms. Ferreras could be applauded for suggesting a coalition of private groups and companies currently in the park as well as those outside, she is not worthy of such applause because she has failed to make clear contributions to a fund that will only be accepted on a philanthropic basis.
Furthermore, while we are stuck with what is currently in the park, Ms. Ferreras should have made it clear, enough is enough. Under no circumstances, economic or otherwise, are the gates to be closed permanently except for passive urban park users. Her failure to say so makes one look forward to term limits that will replace her with an official who understands it is the public that is his or her constituency, and not private interests.
He’s worth about $4.9 billion, according to the latest estimates. He sails around in what may be the world’s largest yacht — one with a pool and helipad.
He’s the deputy prime minister of a backwards Arab nation that lives under Sharia law, oppressing women, gay people and the foreign guest workers who make up nearly 90 percent of his hometown’s population.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, is reportedly the likely financier of the Major League Soccer stadium proposed for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, a deal that involves the city giving the league 13 acres of public green space for virtually nothing.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber hopes to announce a deal for its 20th franchise in “4 to 6 weeks.”
The Queens native alluded to a potential deal finally being ironed out with the city that could let MLS to announce its latest franchise.
The announcement will presumably be followed by the kickoff of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure that would allow it to set up a 35,000-seat stadium in the heart of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.