QUEENS — The head of Major League Soccer hinted that the league may explore other options if brokering a deal to put a new and controversial 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Flushing-Meadows Corona Park takes too long.
But for now MLS commissioner Don Garber said he remains committed to building the arena in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a controversial plan that has courted throngs of opponents as well as allies.
Answering reporters' questions earlier this week, Garber said that “if we’re not able to be successful, we’ll throw our hands up and say time for shifting emphasis.”
Garber noted that MLS has been working on the deal for a couple of years.
“We need to get this done within a reasonable time period,” he said. “Three years is too long. I don’t want to put a year deadline on it, but we are focused on getting this done.”
He continued, “If we’re not able to do that, we’ll probably take a step back and figure out whether or not there’s another market we want to move in.”
The stadium would be built on the site of the vast Fountain of the Planets, near Citi Field. The National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open is held, is also in the park.
League officials hope to open the stadium by 2016.
The project has both many supporters and opponents.
One of the most controversial issues about the stadium is the land swap, which involves MLS finding a replacement for the parkland that it will use to build the stadium.
Recently, renderings of the stadium have been leaked online, but MLS said the drawings do not represent what the stadium will look like.