Parkland is “not the only thing people need,” Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday as he defended plans to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
“It’s not irreplaceable,” the mayor said of the 13 acres in Flushing Meadows that soccer promoters are trying to acquire for a 25,000-seat stadium.
“In fact, there’s an old airport, Flushing Airport, which is going to be turned into a park. So the total parkland would be the same,” added the mayor.
But opponents dismissed that swap as a nonstarter.
“If Flushing Airport is the best replacement we can find, that just indicates no green space can replace Flushing Meadows Park,” said Hilary Klein of Make the Road New York.
The 70-acre de-commissioned airport is in College Point, not readily accessible by public transportation, while Flushing Meadows is near subway, LIRR and bus lines.
Bloomberg argued that New Yorkers want a chance to go to soccer matches, as well as opportunities to enjoy parks.
“On balance there’s an enormous amount of new park land,” he said. “But it’s not the only thing people need. A lot of people want a stadium to enjoy soccer.”
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