Soccer stadium poll sounds dubious

Major League Soccer is a private, for-profit sports businesses and much hoopla was announced over a poll of people in Queens indicating 71 percent support a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 21 percent are against it and 8 percent are undecided (“Survey finds Queens wants soccer stadium,” TimesLedger Newspapers, Nov. 15-21).

With all due respect to TimesLedger, the aforesaid headline is not supported when the alleged survey is scrutinized.

The poll consisted of 650 respondents: 500 from around Queens and 150 selected from Corona and Flushing. Sixty percent of the people said they had seen or read nothing of substance about the plan, so a survey based on that is as worthless as the plan itself. The 2010 U.S. census determined that the population of Queens was 2,230,722, so in that context a purported poll of 650 people would not professionally qualify as a legitimate poll.

Furthermore, the poll was commissioned and paid for by MLS and conducted by Global Strategy Group, a registered lobbyist for MLS. This hardly suggests an impartial poll. In suggesting there is “tremendous support for the stadium,” MLS is engaging in Madison Avenue nonsense so absurd it is qualified for admission to the Chutzpah Hall of Shame.

That some politicians support the stadium in the park should come a no surprise since few of them have the intellectual capacity to understand urban parks are a necessity for the poor and middle class and not for the benefit of real estate moguls and wealthy business owners.

When John Garner gave up his U.S. House of Representatives seat to run as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president in 1932 and realized the job was essentially powerless, he described it as “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Garner’s statement accurately describes the value of the MLS poll.

Benjamin M. Haber