The push for a new 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows has the support of two big New York pols. Both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo have expressed a desire for the stadium to be built, which would making NYC a two-soccer team town. But before we all start wishing for the returning Cosmos to go from NASL to MSL (the Red Bulls are staying put in NJ) there is still the pesky issue of redistributing park land.
"There’s enormous support for a soccer stadium from what we can tell from elected officials and from local officials in the area," Bloomberg told reporters yesterday. "In Queens, in particular, soccer is a very big game. My understanding is there’s a lot of sentiment in Albany that they would be willing to do it." And a rep for Governor Cuomo says that "We’re working with MLS to make this a reality."
But before you scream "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL" there is still the issue of land to be worked out. MLS wants to build the stadium and nine extra soccer fields for community and minor-league use (on its own dime) on nine acres of Flushing Meadows. But to do so the public park has to be given to MLS, and the State has to turn over an equivalent amount of land for parks elsewhere. Which could grind the whole thing to a halt. But somehow we suspect that acceptable land will make an appearance in the next few months. After all, MLS wants to have the new stadium up and running fast and to do that they need the State Legislature to approve a deal this fall.