Citi Field and the National Tennis Center could be joined by yet another professional sports arena. The Journal reports that officials from Major League Soccer presented the city with a detailed proposal to build a pro soccer stadium with up to 25,000 seats on eight acres in the northern end of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The plan is still in its baby stages, but if it receives the necessary approvals, the MLS thinks it could be built within one to two years. The plan would face several hurdles, as the land is city-owned, and it would be taking away parkland, so they'd have to make a new park somewhere else. But apparently the meetings are going quite swimmingly (which should come as no surprise, considering how much this city loves its sporting venues). MLS's pitch line? "The world's game should be played in the world's park," a nod to the park being the site of the 1939 and 1964 world's fairs.
The arena would be for a currently non-existant team, and it would be privately financed. Six acres of the eight-acre area are currently occupied by a fenced off concrete pool filled with stagnant water, so it would at least be an improvement over that. MLS would also refurbish the park's public soccer fields and create a cricket field and volleyball courts. Local politicians are already supporting the plan, which could create 2,000 construction jobs, 300 permanent full-time jobs and 900 part-time jobs.
If the arena moves forward, the MTA is going to have to rename the 7 train the sporty train. Ok, maybe not.
· Pro Soccer Nearing Net in Flushing [WSJ]