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Is Major League Soccer’s stadium in Queens officially dead?

Jul 9, 2013, 9:34 PM EDT

Queens design

Everyone connected the dots in May when the New York Yankees and Manchester City partnered to join Major League Soccer, establishing a second team for New York.

The dot connecting came in the venue site selection process. Previously, MLS was bullish on a 25,000-seat stadium inside Flushing Meadow-Corona Park in Queens.

The problem is that any Flushing Meadow project could not happen without the blessing of the Mets, which would need to partner in the project’s parking element. That would mean Mets ownership assisting a Yankees project, something not far from End Times stuff.

So the project was in trouble the day New York City FC was born.

Today, a city councilman and Queens Borough President candidate said the $340 million project was officially kaput. The Daily News quoted Leroy Comrie as saying: “The location doesn’t work. There was no real benefit for Queens residents to site it in that location.”

Comrie, who also chairs the council’s Land Use Committee, then begins talking up the land near Yankees Stadium. It should be noted, however, that Comrie has been an outspoken critic of the Flushing Meadows stadium project from the outset.

Today’s Daily News story also has more quotes from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who was happy to help push the Flushing Meadows project further over the ledge; he has tried to steer MLS and commissioner Don Garber toward his area since the May announcement.

  1. jerichowhiskey - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    I will not consider the Queens proposal dead until they buy the land elsewhere. If there is one thing MLS at least done while trying to do it there is raise awareness about how poorly maintained our parks are. I hope next year, we will actually see some dedicated funds for parks like Flushing Meadows and throughout the city.

    • talgrath - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      I’m not going to say it is definitely dead, but it’s flatlining for sure. The chances of the Mets ownership coming to an agreement with the Yankees ownership is nil, it is more than just business here, it’s about politics and public persona. If the Mets ownership caves to the Yankees ownership on this, they might have riots in the streets.

    • talgrath - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      I almost forgot, rumour has it that the Mets ownership wanted in on the deal and were turned down; if true that adds a certain pesonal sting to things.

  2. tariencole - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Sorry, but this has been a Garber vanity project from the beginning. On the whole, I’d stack his body of work as Commish against anyone’s. But this has been a sideshow that has broken every rule he laid down. No stadium, no proof of viability, nothing but subjective gut feeling that NY can support a second team, after all, LA hasn’t, and the Red Bulls/Metrostars have underperformed every benchmark one could lay down.

    Now we have the problematic situation of an outside ownership group with ties to beliefs that MLS’s ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ campaign has specifically decried, with no facility to play in except Red Bull’s Arena, which of course shoots the whole (supposed) advantage of this team being a ‘real NYC’ team down from day 1.

    Color me skeptical. But this was why the dots were supposed to be filled in for everyone else BEFORE granting the franchise. Now more deserving locations, IMHO, are being left out, and the League could very well end up with a black eye.

    • CaliforniaRedskins - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      I think that everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that NYCFC has multi-billions of dollars behind its ownership group. That fact cannot be overstated enough. If the ownership had these problems and didn’t have the money to solve them I would agree with you, but the fact of the matter is that money solves most problems. I look forward to NYCFC and the corresponding increase in the quality of MLS. They say rising tides raise all boats. I think that the small market MLS teams should be happy they are now being associated with big money guys and stop complaining and wishing for a 3rd Texas team or whomever is the NASL / USL flavor of the month.

      • arabomep - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        Boom. I could never understand why people want *more* small markets NOW when MLS has to keep up with the soccer Joneses in awareness and national branding. I love San Antonio, for example, but San Antonio wouldn’t make anyone yearn for MLS anymore than they are(n’t) now.

      • talgrath - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Because MLS needs more geographical diversity, or it will always be a niche league. I’m not for San Antonio at all, Texas already has two MLS teams and it doesn’t need another. Neither does New York, or LA for that matter. MLS should expand in to the south, there’s a huge section of the country that has 0 teams to root for; you gotta figure that means a lot of money. The midwest is, arguably, also underserverd. The nearest team to say, Oklahoma is in Texas, Kansas’ closest is in Missouri (Kansas City) while northern states like Wyoming and Montana are closest to Salt Lake City or Chicago. In short, if MLS wants to be a US/Canadian team, they’re going to need to cover more cities, it is hard to do that if you double down on all of the major cities.

      • tariencole - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM

        So it’s ok that we have an owner who violates human rights, and violates MLS principles on equality, because he has money.

        And how does having money automatically remove the fact they have no place to play, except the very place everyone says is so bad…which mind you, NYRB spent a DECADE trying to get into, because it was the ‘dream’ of MLS then.

        The double standard in this is criminal. I don’t want a 3rd Texas team. But I do think MLS has hurt itself by insisting on being a coastal league, and not establishing a true national footprint. I realize flyover country doesn’t matter to people on the coasts, but it does hurt the league to not care more about Canada than 2/3rds of the country it’s supposed to be promoting the game in.

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