Bronx Prez says NYCFC “walked away” from Queens Stadium plans

MLS To Queens Stadium Rendition (Skeleton)

The announced union of Major League Soccer, Manchester City and the New York Yankees to form “New York City F.C.” – the league’s 20th franchise – sparked a maelstrom of positive press and endless speculation over the team’s potential impact on soccer nationwide.

Caught and buried in the whirlpool was nearly two years and millions of dollars of effort thrown into a heavily pursued stadium project within the confines of Flushing Meadows Park.

EOS proclaimed the stadium deal was all but dead shortly after the unveiling of NYCFC. Now, the politicians are starting to confirm it as well.

City Councilman and Queens Borough Presidential candidate Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) chairs the Council’s Land Use Committee. A vocal opponent from the beginning of the project, he simply says the proposal isn’t feasible.

“The location doesn’t work,” he tells the Daily News. “There was no real benefit for Queens residents to site it in that location.”

Likewise, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., who recently made public overtures towards NYCFC to concentrate their search in the Bronx, revealed another piece of the puzzle that supports Comrie’s claim.

“It’s my understanding, that for whatever reason, they’ve walked away from the conversations they were having in Queens,” said Diaz Jr.

The news isn’t surprising. As EOS reported, in nearly two years of searching for land in Flushing, MLS did not even submit the most basic paperwork to the city for approval. At most, the stadium project extended to blueprints and drainage studies, with little else to show for their efforts. Of the 19 sites originally proposed to MLS, none are zoned for stadium usage, which brings with it another battle in and of itself.

That doesn’t take into account heavy local opposition and the stadiums basic need for this Yankee-funded project to work alongside Fred Wilpon and his Mets if they hope to land in Flushing. Without their rival’s help, parking requirements will never be met.

Regardless of the chatter, Major League Soccer and now NYCFC spokeswoman, Risa Heller, claims the reports of the team abandoning Flushing are premature.

“[The team] is looking for a home, not simply a place to play. We will continue to pursue Flushing Meadows while we also review other sites around the city.”

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  • It does not seem like any concrete plans will be in place soon. Frankly, it was dubious at best if they thought it was going to be a cakewalk taking Flushing Meadows land for free. While replacement parcel of land is all fine and dandy, it would not have compared at all to keeping land within the park itself.

    At the end of all this, I am pleased MLS’s effort seem to have galvanized the public and park advocates about maintaining our parks properly.

    • Having seen what a pit FMP has become, I agree; galvanizing the locals in park support is great. What I want to see is that passion translate to investment. FMP NEEDS it. Such a terribly maintained park.

  • Anthony

    More evidence this Man City USA expansion announcement was ill conceived and poorly thought out. They were in such a rush to have a “NYC” team for TV negotiations they threw all their years of requirements out the window and will have a homeless “flagship” franchise for many many many years.

  • smartypants

    They are really banking on this team playing in the five (read four) boroughs. That’ll be good when they play in Yankee Stadium, but what happens after that.
    So much commentary has assumed that they’ll be able to find something, but really that is FAR from assured. Building in NYC is beyond difficult and Mansour’s involvement isn’t going to help.
    So what happens to all this “city” branding when they have to settle for a location outside the city limits? What is plan B?

    • Sam U El

      Obviously it’s NYCFC playing in Cosmos stadium.

  • Anonymous

    To build a soccer stadium near the Yankee Stadium !!!!

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  • @ReeseCommaBill

    Was there ever a list of those “19 sites” proposed by MLS? I proposed this on Tumblr:

  • Aidan Sullivan

    Coney Island? How about it?

  • Tim F.

    MLS presented a solid and well thought out plan that Queens punted on; hopefully the Bronx effort will be more successful.

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