Last October, it was reported that Major League Soccer tapped SHoP Architects to create preliminary designs for a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Now those designs have made their way onto the internet. SHoP principal Gregg Pasquarelli gave a presentation earlier at Columbia University earlier this week, and during that he talked about other projects the firm is working on, including the MLS stadium. However, according to Empire of Soccer, Pasquarelli didn't say outright that this was the MLS Flushing arena: "The project I'm not supposed to show (you) so I am not going to tell you where it is or what it is but it's a new stadium that should be announced in the next couple of months."
There was a video of his presentation that's been taken down, but Empire of Soccer took screenshots of the renderings from the video. MLS officials have said that the renderings are old and not representative of what the stadium will look like, but Pasquarelli gave some interesting design details.
While Pasquarelli did not say where this stadium could be, Empire of Soccer points out that you can clearly see the Unisphere and World's Fair observatory towers in the background of the renderings. The concepts show a circular stadium "that has no walls, that's completely open at all times." The surrounding park would "fold up" into the stadium concourse, and the upper level of the structure would swoop down to give views of the park's landmarks. The renderings also show part of the 13-acres of replacement parkland MLS would be required to create. No site has been chosen for this yet, but the concept drawings show new sports fields to the east of the stadium near the Van Wyck Expressway.
But don't get too excited about the renderings?as mentioned before, MLS said these designs are outdated. Capital NY has their official statement: "This is not what the stadium is going to look like. This was an early architectural design study that was developed to help us understand height, mass, and other issues pertaining to the land use process. When we have an owner, they will propose what the stadium will look like."
UPDATE: Risa B. Heller passed along another quote from the MLS, this time from MLS President Mark Abbott: "These drawings do not represent what they stadium will look like. In fact, we haven't selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club. This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint. Any assertion that these drawings represent what a stadium will look like in Queens is wrong." Okay then.
· FIRST LOOK: MLS's Queens Stadium Renderings [Empire of Soccer]
· Visions of That Major League Soccer Stadium in Queens [Capital NY]
· SHoP Architects Tapped to Design the MLS Flushing Stadium [Curbed]
· MLS Flushing Stadium coverage [Curbed]