So much for Pier 40: According to a report in Newsday, MLS has settled on a site in Queens for a stadium for an expansion team for New York City. The good news: The league says it will use its own money to build the place. The less good news: The site is in a public park, and would require the displacement of eight or more acres of parkland, including seven public soccer fields:
The stadium, which would be built over the Fountain of Planets, would displace seven soccer fields that are used by dozens of youth and adult teams. MLS has agreed to build seven new fields, [Queens Chamber of Commerce executive director Jack] Friedman said.
“Major League Soccer not only wants to expand its franchise, they want to have youth programs, adult soccer programs, child obesity programs, all based around soccer,” he said.
MLS also has agreed to create eight acres of parkland elsewhere to compensate for the new stadium.
No specific financing or site development plan has been released, so there’s no way of knowing yet if MLS will be asking for tax breaks or what have you (as the Yankees and Mets did after promising “no public subsidies”), or how the replacement parkland will work in a crowded Queens. Plus, the Mets owners are reportedly “wary” of having a soccer team for a neighbor — at least, one they’re not involved in.
More on this, including all the equally entertaining alternate names for the Fountain of Planets, in my article for the Village Voice website.