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Major League Soccer Nears $300M Deal for Queens Stadium, Report Says

By Nigel Chiwaya | August 13, 2012 2:11pm
A Flushing Meadows MLS stadium would be home to an expansion franchise.
A Flushing Meadows MLS stadium would be home to an expansion franchise.
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FLUSHING—Major League Soccer is on the verge of striking a deal with the city and state to bring a $300 million soccer stadium to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the New York Post reported.

The stadium, which would seat 25,000 fans, would be located next to Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium and would include nine soccer fields for public and minor league use.

Construction would begin next year, and the stadium would be home to a new, unnamed expansion franchise, the report states.

“I definitely think this could happen in 2013 and it will generate construction jobs, permanent jobs and sales-tax revenues for the city and the state," a state official told the paper.

Major League Soccer would fund the construction of the stadium, but city, state and MTA approval would be needed because the proposed site would be on public parkland. The report says that the city would give up nine acres of land for development of the stadium, but in return it would received land from the state for use as parkland.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg hailed the proposal Monday, saying that soccer "is a very big game."

"It would be a great idea," he said. "There’s enormous support for a soccer stadium, from what we can tell from elected officials and from local officials in the area. In Queens in particular."

Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7, said that the board has not been involved in any discussions around a potential soccer stadium, however they have requested a meeting with MLS, the city and the state.

"We have not been involved in the talks, however we will be meeting with them," Bitterman said.