Mayor still backing the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park site. But league appears to be looking elsewhere.
Major League Soccer may be backing away from its plans to build a $340 million stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The proposal to erect a 25,000-seat stadium on up to 13 acres in the park seemed to be all but a done deal earlier this month.
But the new owners of the team New York City Football Club, the Manchester City and the Yankees, said in a statement the league “will continue to review other potential sites.”
That move was lauded by local park advocates.
“We want the idea of using Flushing Meadows-Corona Park as a stadium to go away,” said Geoffrey Croft, executive director of New York City Park Advocates. “It’s a commercial use of parkland.”
MLS officials did not comment on possible locations — although the new soccer team is expected to initially play in Yankee Stadium and other locations until the new stadium is built.
“We are looking for a home, not simply a place to play, and our mandate now is to listen,” said MLS spokeswoman Risa Heller. “We are continuing discussions on Flushing Meadows-Corona Park at the same time as we review other possible alternatives.”
A source close to the discussions said soccer officials are planning to explore other areas in the city for a stadium — but Flushing Meadows is still the top priority.
Mayor Bloomberg has said he believes the best place for the stadium is the eastern end of the park. But the mayor added there a lot of places where a 25,000-seat stadium could go.
Supporters of the stadium will push for the latter.
“If the stadium is constructed in the middle of the park, it will be a death blow to the park as we know it,” said Javier Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, who favors the stadium, just not to Flushing Meadows.
He’s pushing a site in nearby Willets Point.
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