MLS officials discuss NYC expansion plans,
eye on 2016
NEW YORK — For the first time since identifying Flushing Meadows-Corona Park as a potential stadium site for the league's 20th expansion team, MLS officials are now openly discussing details of the project with local residents and media.
The latest installment of those grassroots meetings involved a Wednesday roundtable with local Hispanic media at the league headquarters in midtown Manhattan, where league president Mark Abbott answered questions about the plans.
It's a project that's been in the works since August 2011, when the league first put a team together to investigate more than 20 different locations for a stadium site in New York City.
Earlier this year, that search honed in on Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, which has the available land and is also close to public transportation, including both the NYC Subway and the Long Island Railroad.
But as importantly, it is the "home of soccer in New York City right now," according to Abbott.
The plans call for a 25,000-seat stadium (expandable to 35,000 seats) to be constructed on the current site of the park's Industry Pond, a 6.5-acre cement structure that was built for the 1966 World Fair but that is no longer operational (at ight).
The economics are straightforward: The stadium will be entirely funded by the club's owner and it will create an estimated 2,200 construction jobs, 160 full-time jobs and 750 part-time gameday jobs.