After plans for a Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park fell through last year, the New York City Football Club, the league’s new expansion team, was left homeless, until now.
Instead of playing their inaugural season in Queens, NYC F.C. will call Yankee Stadium home for three years, beginning in 2015.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
The Exit Realty Central office at 133-07 Cross Bay Blvd. is quiet at 10 a.m. on a rainy Monday morning. The new workweek has not yet kicked into full gear.
But it will.
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.
Big Social Security disability case could benefit thousands
Once, twice, three times the parkland is what Avella seeks
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.”
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.
Manchester City Football Club Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano, left, Mayor Bloomberg, Hal Steinbrenner and Yankees President Randy Levine welcoming New York City FC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The United States Tennis Association’s proposed expansion within Flushing Meadows Corona Park began its public review hearings this week on the heels of a 32-page report blasting the nonprofit’s plan and history as a tenant in the park.
By Friday, six community boards will have voted on the proposal. But as of Tuesday evening, Community Boards 4 and 9 voted against the plan in contentious hearings, while Community Board 7 approved it with little fanfare by comparison.
I do not understand what has happened in the “city so nice they named it twice.” We used to be a city of people who stood up for what was what and made no bones about it. When did that change?
Now here in Queens we have our elected “representatives” (I use the term lightly) selling out the very people they swore to represent. There are three large projects undergoing public review, which would significantly sacrifice acreage of parkland within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Yet several elected officials are on board with the developers. They are in effect speaking for the developers instead of their constituents.
They tell us that the theft being perpetrated upon all of us is exactly what we need and want. They speak of “public-private partnerships.” They speak of the wretched conditions of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, yet they do not speak of their incompetence, inability or unwillingness to fu
nd the very same park. They tell local business owners that these projects are a good deal. They do not tell the local merchants that there will be no increase in business. Every stadium has its own restaurants that cater to all types of clients and this one will be no different. These stadiums are built as cities unto themselves, complete with pro shops, restaurants, fast food joints and vending machines.
They also do not tell these merchants that the added traffic, without added roads and parking, will only force a crackdown on parking, possibly eliminating valued parking in front of their establishments. Think about it, Northern Boulevard already has no parking westbound for the morning rush hour, and no parking eastbound for the evening rush. What is going to happen on all the other streets when the roads become blocked!
Julissa Ferreras represents the district that will be impacted the most. Most of her constituents use the park on a daily basis during the summer. They play soccer and cricket and have picnics, festivals and a myriad of other events in this park. Yet, she is leading the charge to take the parkland away. Borough president candidates Barry Grodenchik, Melinda Katz, Leroy Comrie and Jose Peralta have all remained silent on this issue. They want the seat of borough president, yet remain silent while the borough gets robbed. This is not acceptable!
Are we to stand by and allow our park to be taken from us? Are we to stand by and allow our “representatives” to represent businesses instead of us? Has it become OK to accept whatever it is they give us because they do it with a smile and a nod? They only feign care and concern when we get upset. Just because they speak to us in a calm manner in the pretense of being civil does not mean they are being civil.
Enough already. The time is now. Stand up, New York. This is our park! There is no deal to be made — our families, our children have rights to this park. Not USTA, not MLS, not Mr. Wilpon and Sterling and Related Companies! This is our land.
I urge you to call your representatives, and tell them “No, to the land theft at Flushing Meadows Corona Park!”
We’re tired of Flushing Meadows Corona Park being the Rodney Dangerfield of the city’s crown jewel green spaces. Why do we in Queens get no respect?
For weeks we’ve been covering Major League Soccer’s plan to eat up about a dozen acres of the old fairgrounds for a new stadium. Even leaving aside the myriad logistical, environmental and economic problems with the very vague plan, we’ve concluded that simply proposing it is offensive because Flushing Meadows is a public park —one that’s already suffered enough through city neglect.
A negative of the soccer stadium rendering drawn up by SHoP Architects.
A rendering of a potential Major League Soccer stadium by SHoP Architects, a firm doing initial design study work but not guaranteed to be the brains behind the final proposal, leaked online. MLS said the renderings are not representative of the proposed stadium.
Queens got a peek this week at the potential Major League Soccer stadium planned for Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Well … Kind of.
I just want to put my two cents in and say Thanks! to the Chronicle for its continuing coverageofthe attempteddestruction of Flushing Meadows Park by Major League Soccer and the United States Tennis Association. I have been avidly following your articles and editorial stand on the subject.
YourAssistantManaging Editor Joe Orovic has been on this continuing story since the beginning. Look forward to reading more of hiswell-researched articles.I hope his Jan. 31 article “MLS to Queens? Stop by Harrison, NJ first”will wake up those not yet convinced of the folly of MLS’s plans.
The US Open is not the only place where the United States Tennis Association can draw an overflow crowd.
More than 100 people turned out at the Feb. 13 meeting of Community Board 6, where the USTA continued its push for plans for a multi-year $500 million construction project at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.