FLUSHING — Major League Soccer officials are eyeing a section of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for a possible stadium, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The league has pitched the idea of putting the stadium, which would be in a run-down section of the park and seat up to 25,000 people to local politicans, the paper reported. The move comes just two years after MLS plunked down $220 million on the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
The MLS is hoping to score a goal with Queens pols, suggesting the “world’s game should be played in the world’s park,” writes the Journal.
Flushing Meadows- Corona Park was the site of the world’s fairs in 1939 and 1964, and is in the shadow of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Citi Field.
As part of their pitch, MLS would refurbish public soccer fields on the site and create cricket and volleyball courts in an area roughly eight acres, the Journal reported.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was not the only site checked out by the MLS, the paper said. The league apparently shopped around the city for feasible sites, checking out Willets Point and Pier 40 in Hudson River Park, according to the paper.
The paper added that Pier 40 was quickly scratched off the list after community members said they were spooked about the parking and fan chaos a Major League Soccer stadium could bring.
For MLS’s plans to get off the ground, they would have to get the green light from the City Council and state Legislature, after which the league said it could get the stadium up and running in two years’ time.
Local pols, however, have insisted that the project support local jobs, writes the Journal, with State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, whose district includes the park, saying that the league must provide enough parking spaces and use union labor.
"They were hoping for quick approvals, but this something that's a major commitment, and we've got to take a close look at it," Stavisky told the paper.