Bloomberg now less gung-ho about Queens MLS stadium

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Major League Soccer have taken a step back from plans to bring a soccer stadium to Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Capital New York reported.

“I think that’s a wonderful place for it, but it’s not the only place,” Bloomberg said during a press conference at the Museum of the Moving Image. “And I’m sure they’re going to continue to look and listen, and I just want to make sure that we do get a venue.”

Bloomberg’s announcement follows news that MLS would form its 20th team in New York City, to be jointly owned by Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan and the New York Yankees.

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In a separate press conference, M.L.S commissioner Don Garber said that it was “pretty clear that the league’s preferred site was Queens. “That’s why we worked so hard on that. But there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done by Man City and the Yankees to get out in the community and meet with folks and then perhaps look at other options.”

The statements seem like a sharp backtrack on the Bloomberg administration’s earlier position on the issue, which was that Flushing Meadows Corona Park was the ideal choice given its proximity to public transit. The administration received criticism for its choice, with parks advocates saying that it alienated public land in favor of commercial use. [Capital New York]Hiten Samtani