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Leaked Renderings Show Proposed Soccer Stadium in Queens Park

By Paul DeBenedetto | February 25, 2013 6:03pm | Updated on February 25, 2013 7:55pm

NEW YORK CITY — Renderings of a proposed Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park have been leaked online, after a presentation at Columbia University by the plan's developers was recorded, according to reports.

At a Feb. 1 presentation, Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects spoke to Columbia students about the design and development of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to reports.

But SHoP is also the architecture firm hired by MLS to create the proposed soccer stadium, according to reports, and at one point during the presentation, renderings for the stadium appear to flash across the screen, according to the blog Empire of Soccer.

“The project I’m not supposed to show [you] so I am not going to tell you where it is or what it is but it’s a new stadium that should be announced in the next couple of months,” Pasquarelli reportedly said.

The video, now deleted, was originally posted on NetsDaily.com. Screenshots of the soccer stadium and description of the presentation were reported by Empire of Soccer.

The stadium, according to Pasquarelli's reported comments, would have "no walls." Rather, the stadium would be surrounded by a see-through skeletal structure, according to the renderings.

New York City Park Advocates, which has been critical of any plan to place the stadium on parkland, blasted MLS on Monday.

"This is a nightmare," said NYPA President Geoffrey Croft. "[N]ow we know why MLS has been trying so hard to keep renderings of the stadium out of the public eye. This is massive. The stadium represents the equivalent of parking three enormous aircraft carriers in the middle of a public park."

But MLS President Mark Abbott on Monday dismissed such criticism, saying that the plan presented at Columbia would not resemble the final plan.

"These drawings do not represent what they stadium will look like," Abbott said in an email. "In fact, we haven't selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club.

"This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint," Abbott added. "Any assertion that these drawings represent what a stadium will look like in Queens is wrong."