MLS working to bring new team to Queens

September 14, 2012 7:54:51 AM PDT
There is quite a buzz in Queens about plans for a Major League Soccer stadium.

Negotiations are under way with the city, state and Major League Soccer officials to build a 25,000 seat professional soccer stadium, but the plan is not without its critics.

Nine acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is being eyed for big things. The former Pool of Industry, leftover from the 1964 Worlds Fair, would be filled in and converted into a world class soccer stadium.

Currently, the New York Red Bulls play out of Harrison, New Jersey. The team in Queens would be a new team.

Some local leaders are embracing it.

"Major League Soccer is going to make a great economic impact in this area," state Senator Jose Peralta said. "And we're talking about over 2,000 construction union jobs. We're talking about 1,100 permanent jobs when it comes down to it. And that's what it's all about. It's about bringing economic development back into Queens."

And the MLS is on board.

"Major League Soccer is committed to securing a 20th team for the league that would be located in New york City," the league said in a statement. "We are thrilled about the prospect of being in Queens and bringing the world's sport to the World's Park."

MLS has also committed to fixing the current soccer fields, which have fallen into disrepair. It is welcome news to soccer enthusiasts.

"If this come to a reality now, it will be a great thing for the kids, for Flushing Meadow Park," said Luis Montoya, of the Big Apple Youth Soccer League. "It will be a good thing for Queens and will be a good thing for anybody who is involved in soccer in this country."

But park advocates say the city is over-developing public space.

"This is a park," said Geoffrey Croft, with NYC Park Advocates. "And unfortunately, what we're seeing over and over again, the administration just keeps handing over our public spaces to completely commercial purposes."

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