FC New York, that minor-league expansion soccer team that said it wants to build a stadium in Queens, now says it’s hit a snag: namely, that nobody in Queens is actually offering to build them a stadium. Meanwhile, team president Doug Petersen says that Nassau County is eagerly wooing his club, though he mostly seems to be interested in using that as leverage to get Queens finally talking:
“In the last two weeks, we are stepping up our campaign to reach out to people in local governments [in New York City] again to see if there are soccer friends in the political arena who want to help us,” said Petersen, who is based in Garden City, L.I. “I think the sport of passion for people in Queens is soccer.”
As far as Nassau goes, there are no more details about a stadium there than in Queens, but at least they’re talking a good game: Deputy county executive Rob Walker told the Daily News, “Being able to say that Nassau County is the home of a premier soccer team or whatever the case may be, we want to do it.” “Or whatever the case may be”? What, a league made of up two competing leagues forced to play each other because neither had enough teams on its own doesn’t sound “premier” to you?
New York City can gear itself up for another stadium controversy: Officials for FC New York, an expansion team in the minor-league United Soccer League that’s set to begin play in 2010 at Hofstra University on Long Island, say they’re looking at several sites in Queens for a proposed 9,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. From the Daily News:
“Our goal is to build a home in Queens,” said Doug Petersen, president of FC New York. “We think it can happen relatively soon.”
The team has discussed a potential site in Jamaica and is meeting with city Parks Department officials to explore other possibilities, Petersen said, noting he couldn’t give more details about the location.
The ideal site would be near several train lines with ample parking, he said.
If Petersen can’t give details, that doesn’t mean we can’t play guess-the-stadium-site. Looking near the Jamaica commuter rail station and subway stops, no large parcels immediately leap to mind — there’s Rufus King Park, but it’s a landmark, so couldn’t get the Macombs treatment. They could try to squeeze something in on the York College campus, maybe, but space looks pretty tight there as well.
Of course, “has discussed a potential site in Jamaica” could just mean they said, “Hey, Jamaica’s near trains and is relatively cheap — how about around there somewhere?” Or even, “How are we going to get the city newspapers to cover our minor-league soccer team out on Long Island?” “I know! Let’s say we want to move to Queens!” That said, stranger things have come true.