10 Possible Locations For A Soccer Stadium in NYC

MLS To Queens Stadium Rendition (Skeleton)

Site 2:
The Iron Triangle
Flushing/Willets Point, Queens

02 - Iron Triangle

This site due east of Citi Field has been on Mayor Bloomberg’s radar for re-development since the middle of his second term. One day this jungle of chop shops will be home to a mixed-use neighborhood of condos, office buildings, parks, and—possibly—an MLS stadium. The Islanders had once debated building a hockey arena in this area.

PROS:

• Much like Riverbend Project in Harrison, the city could use an MLS stadium as an “anchor tenant” for the redevelopment project in the Iron Triangle (the area represented in green in the diagram).
• There is ample room for a 25,000 seat SSS, but little else (offices, training ground).
• As with Citi Field, the stadium would be within walking distance of the Mets-Willets Point station on the #7 line as well as the Willets Point LIRR stop.
• Queens is ready to approve a massive mall project (highlighted in purple) to the west of Citi Field, so having another destination facility in the area would be welcomed by local politicians, one presumes.
• A Willets Point stadium could be accessed by the area’s many highways that connect to points north, south, east and west. So long as City FC and the Mets agree to not play games on the same day, City FC could possibly piggyback on the Mets parking facilities (more on that later).

CONS:

• The city of New York has been planning this site for several years and there has never been a proposal that includes a stadium in the Iron Triangle zone. Had MLS pushed to build in that zone and not in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, then perhaps they could have had a seat at the table. Alas, the league and City FC are still standing in this game of musical chairs.
• Assuming that the massive mall project to the west of Citi Field gets built, the Mets would have to build several parking garages to replace the parking space, most likely in the Iron Triangle. That will eat into the development zone and cut into City FC’s chances for a stadium there.
• If the stadium were to be placed as I have it—in the northeast corner of the triangle—then that is a good 10 minute walk from the #7 train and a solid 15 minute walk from the LIRR, not exactly “transit adjacent.”
• City FC could use the Mets parking facilities on non-Mets game days, but if the Yankees are co-owners of City FC, why should the Mets allow them to use any of their facilities without taking a significant portion of the parking receipts?

Feasibility: 7
Location: 5
Transit Access: 7
Highway Access: 9
Overall: B

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  • Anthony

    i commend you for trying to put a list like this together, but realistically pretty much every one of them is fantasy island stuff. Most those locations can’t fit the footprint for a major SSS and then there are some that could but politically and community wise would get destroyed before they got off the ground. There is a reason no football field sized stadium has been built in the city limits in 50+ years…the only major stadium projects that have been done were replacement stadium for MLB teams in the adjacent property to the old stadium..costing billions and to this day a massive point of soreness with locals who felt robbed blind by the city and these franchises.

    There is one place a team that wants to play in the city limits can play..Yankee Stadium..and that isn’t really a very attractive proposition long term…let alone short term.

  • Brettson

    Wow, great article. You did a ton of research.

    • Sebby

      Please tell me you’re not serious, Brettson!?!?!
      I love how all the other blogtwats tweet this drivel.

  • jspech

    Nice work, but I don’t see why you left out Coney Island

  • jspech

    Sunny-side rail yard, but I hope it’s LIC, I still feel Pier 40 is a sleeper possibility, but afraid those Con would exploit where $$ is coming from

  • Excellent research! I hate that car drivers are going to dictate so much of where this stadium will eventually be. I love the LIC Waterfront (site 9) idea.

  • Cos

    Two more scenarios

    1. Build the stadium in the parking lot of Mets stadium, building a multi-storey car park/garage next to it to make up the lost parking capacity.
    2. Randell Island Icahn stadium. Re-build main stand to 12,000, opposite side build stand with retractable seating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG7ZdcUSyoQ , reduced capacity to 4,000 for athletics and 8,000 when extended over track. At the ends build two 2,500 moveable sliding stands that come in for soccer games and move out for athletics events. Transport – run free shuttle buses from 3 nearest subway stops in Harlem, South Bronx and Astoria.

  • Tim F.

    Randall’s Island seems like best location; if not then Bronx

    • Bill Reese

      @Tim, As part of my research, I spoke to the Parks Dept. guy who runs Randall’s Island and Icahn Stadium. He told me that there has been absolutely no discussion on the city level of using Randall’s Island as a site for a new Soccer Specific Stadium.

  • King Cantona

    How about Harrison, NJ?

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  • C

    I feel if New York City Football Club can persuade New York City to let them build on the site across the street from the Jacob Javits Center and call it West Side Arena, it would be a huge success! That is only my opinion however.

  • Geoff

    The location of NYCFC’s stadium will dictate the future of the organization. If they build at the Aqueduct, they will lose all their fans from Manhattan and the Bronx. They will probably gain more Long Islanders, but this is totally against what they have been trying to build as a brand. The LIC options seem best from a feasibility and fan retention perspective. I’m still very fond of the Inwood idea, but if the baker complex doesn’t work, there is a ton of industrial area up there too that can be purchased and built upon. Ultimately, choosing any location further than a 30 minute trip from Midtown could spell doom for the organizations relevance.

  • Nat Mac

    MLS never should have allowed this franchise in without a stadium plan in place. Just like they are doing in Miami.

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  • NYCFCfan

    Long Island City is clearly the best neighborhood in the city for a stadium. The two sites proposed here are possibilities but there are plenty of other dilapidated industrial buildings in the neighborhood. Transit is ideal, as mentioned, so is the reputation. The only obsolesces would be buying out the current land owners and re-zoning, both of which will be obstacles almost anywhere else.