City Looks To Net Soccer Team
Professional soccer may soon be coming to Queens as the city and state and Major League Soccer (MLS) are reportedly working on a deal to build a new 25,000-seat arena at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
According to news reports, the site would be used as a lure to bring a second local team to the metropolitan area. The New York Red Bulls, one of the 19-team league’s original squads, currently play in a recentlyconstructed arena in Harrison, N.J., near Newark.
The facility would be located in the same area as Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium, and would reportedly include nine fields for residents’ use.
Construction would begin next year, at a total cost of $300 million.
Reportedly, the city and MLS agreed on Flushing after considering over a dozen sites, including Randalls Island and Pier 40 in Manhattan, for the stadium.
If a new stadium is built in Flushing, city, state and Metropolitan Transportation Authority approval would be needed, and the developers would need to replace the amount of parkland used for the stadium elsewhere in the city.
MLS had expressed interest in a second New York team since March, and a Red Bulls spokesperson told the website Capital New York last week that the team would welcome a natural rival.
MLS spokesperson Risa Heller confirmed that the league is in negotiations with the city in a statement to the Times Newsweekly.
“Major League Soccer is committed to securing a 20th team for the league that would be located in New York City,” she stated. “We are thrilled about the prospect of being in Queens and bringing the world’s sport to the world’s park. We are in discussions with city, state and with Queens officials and look forward to working with the community to build a world class soccer facility and improved park for all to enjoy.”