The Real Deal New York

Mayoral candidates apathetic about Queens soccer stadium

April 23, 2013 11:00AM

Candidates in the mayoral race seem reluctant to score with soccer fans, expressing apathy about a proposed Major League Soccer arena in Queens’ Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, Capital New York reported.

All nine candidates at the New York League of Conservation Voters forum – including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and John Catsimatidis – kept their hands in their laps when asked whether they were in favor of the stadium.

When pushed to elaborate, Liu said that previous promises of restoring parkland allocated to development projects had not been met. “Unfortunately, under this administration, we have seen a couple of other stadiums that have been built, and the parks facilities and spaces not being made available until the public, until a huge amount of public pressure was put to bear on the administration. So, there’s a credibility factor here.”

In the case of the MLS stadium, Liu said that because there were no specifics on where the parkland would be restored, “I do not think overall it’s a good idea.”

MLS estimates that the proposed $300 million stadium could create up to 2,300 construction jobs, as well as 160 full-time jobs and 750 part-time jobs. It wants to take 13 acres of the park and build a 25,000-seat arena on the site.

To push the stadium forward, MLS topped a list of the biggest spenders on lobbying the city in 2012, forking out over $1.7 million through five different lobbying firms. [Capital New York]  –Hiten Samtani