Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wilpon wants soccer stadium to replace Shea

A Queens-based booster club which calls itself the Borough Boys has made it their mission to bring a second Major League Soccer (MLS) team to New York City. The group advocates housing the team in Queens, citing the diverse population and central location as perfect for soccer support.

Since Citi Field will be opened in the spring, leaving a large open space where Shea Stadium used to stand the Boys feel the Flushing-Meadows area would be ideal for a soccer stadium.


Effort Afoot To Bring Soccer Team To Queens

“We were amazed to find out that [Mets Owner Fred] Wilpon’s team already has a detailed plan, including the financials, to build a soccer stadium on the grounds around Shea Stadium. Wilpon and his team understood full well the popularity of soccer in the neighborhoods adjacent to the stadium, and speculated on the huge success of not only an MLS team there, but the possibility of international friendlies throughout the year. Council member Monserrate spoke of the popularity of the sport among his constituents and the Queens community, and that it would be greatly appreciated by so many fans of the beautiful game. “We all agreed to move forward together to make the project work,” he said.

Recently the league announced it is accepting bids for two new franchises to be the 17th and 18th MLS teams. Now the Borough Boys are initiating “Project 17,” to ensure that Queens submits at least one bid, and to convince the league that New York City is a fertile market for soccer growth.


Where the hell will the cars park - on the grass? Excellent idea, especially with the scheduled development of Willets Point which we already know will exacerbate the current traffic nightmare. Will we subsidize this stadium, too?

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

H-m-m-m.....
so Wilpon is trying to quash any Willets Point criticism by Monserrate and local Latinos by bribing them with a soccer stadium and thus currying favor with them through their love for that nationally popular game!

Let's wait and see and carefully watch if Hiram can be bought off now with Fred's latest crafty move!

Anonymous said...

In ancient Rome the offering of
bread and circuses were an effective means of controlling the unruly masses!

So in Flushing/Corona it's to be
the building of a Soccer Stadium
instead of an improvement of the poor city services currently delivered to the area or the offering of real long term employment opportunities to its residents!

And so history once again repeats itself thousands of years later!

Cerveza Corona....salude amigos!

I think your local C.M. is about to pull the wool over your eyes!

Anonymous said...

C-mon "Salvatore",
advise your fellow Latinos and Latinas.

Clue them in how they're about to be robbed of their quality of life, once again, while Wilpon and his boys improve their own and fatten their wallets!

Anonymous said...

Hiram....
have you turned your coat inside out yet?

Anonymous said...

This is one of those urban legends... Shea's space is going to be the main parking area for Citi Field. It will be a plaza and the outline of the field will be painted on the lot... The apple will likely remain in its current location as a 'meeting point'...

This story holds no water...

Anonymous said...

Professional soccer in the US is a losing enterprise. No one in their right mind would build a stadium dedicated to the sport.

Anonymous said...

i can see them squeezing 15 or so home matched in the 30 weeks of the MLS season in Citi Field.

Give it to Hiram and he'll jump on board WP faster than a commuter on the LIRR.

Anonymous said...

As a huge soccer fan, I would love to see a stadium built provided the city didn't sell out the taxpayers as they do with the more popular American sports. But this is moot unless they come up with a parking plan as Crappy mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Fan-

Do any other MLS teams play at Major League Baseball stadiums?

Anonymous said...

Who gives a **** about soccer in the United States in the first place !
A media company tried a massive promotion with the Beckhams and fell flat on their faces

This reeks of the Dolans & Cablevision if its NYC

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that Queens Crapper posts extensively about developments that have parking spaces out front, then argues for more parking at a new stadium. You're living in the past. The current Shea stadium lost 1/2 its parking when they started construction of CitiField. By limiting parking and promoting transit, the percent of people taking transit to games went from 24% to 45%. If you want to reduce traffic, REDUCE the number of parking spots and promote transit.

Anonymous said...

Paving over your front lawn to park an SUV on it is not the same as keeping the parking lot you already built for major sporting events. I guess more people should take the 7 train during rush hour to get to these games because the subway isn't crowded enough as it is.

Anonymous said...

1) The parking lot is NOT already built. It's currently Shea Stadium.
2) Paving over a front yard to park an SUV is actually very similar to tearing down a stadium to build a lot to park an SUV.
3) The solution to traffic problems is still to increase transit access, not build more parking. Options include a LIRR connection at 73rd St, near Queens Blvd that would allow main line trains from Jamaica to turn around and head to Shea on the Port Washington branch. You can also add more trains, and run shuttle buses from other transit stations (like Jamaica), which is what has been so succesful at Ikea.

If you want to complain about traffic, show some courage and advocate for REAL solutions. Additional parking has been shown time and time again to increase the amount of traffic on the road. Therefore Queens Crapper's argument is the opposite of a solution.

Anonymous said...

No, the current parking lot is being built on and the understand was that the old stadium would then be demolished to replace the now occupied parking lot. Similar to what they are doing when they replace school buildings. Maybe more people would take mass transit if the service didn't suck and you didn't have to wait for 3 or 4 trains to go by. And your solution sounds nice, but there is no money for it, and even with con pricing there was no talk of that. Why put capital into seasonal transit when the year round transit needs augmenting?

Anonymous said...

Hey, anyone have video footage of the QATC asking for bike lanes at the WP hearing? I could use a good chuckle right now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and how they want to use the parking lot on off days. Sounds like there won't be one.

Anonymous said...

Just read about solar powered car making a debut here. Soon they won't be able to use foreign wars, rich oil barons, etc. as excuses for why they hate cars. You can't get everywhere by mass transit. After a game, you certainly don't want to be wandering around most neighborhoods or waiting for a bus.

Anonymous said...

Initially, there were proposals for Citi Field to be a mixed use stadium, for football and baseball in the 2012 games, but the Mets said no.

Anonymous said...

anon 9: I guess you were talking to me (Soccer Fan?).

anyway im not sure what my comment about how a soccer stadium would be nice if the land isn't needed for parking has to do w. whether other MLS games play in MLB stadiums.

anyway, to answer, I believe that the league is fairly split between teams w. their own stadiums (a growing trend) and those sharing w. baseball or mostly football fields (new england, DC). But the league only approves expansion teams in markets that will build a new soccer-specific stadium.

J said...

1) If you've ever taken transit to a game, you'd realize that you don't have to wait for 3-4 trains to go by to get there, or to get back afterwards. Morning rush hours are far worse.
2) Yes, year-round transit desperately needs improvement and should certainly receive money before seasonal transit. However, the Mets and other seasonal event hosts can often be convinced/required to pay for improvements to offset any additional trips they add to a system.
3) The current (although temporary) system works, even with the drastic reduction in parking. Why rebuild it? It will only cause more traffic.
4) My post are not anti-car, they're anti-traffic. You can make whatever assumptions you want about my political views, but the fact remains that if you build more parking, more people will drive, and that will cause more traffic.
5) I'm not anti-car. Cars are very useful and necessary for society to function. However, when you have a lot of people headed to the same place at the same time, mass transit simply makes sense. The reason is that transit simply uses space more efficiently than cars.

Anonymous said...

"However, the Mets and other seasonal event hosts can often be convinced/required to pay for improvements to offset any additional trips they add to a system."

And was such a deal required of them before our tax money was allocated to pay for their new stadium? Shouldn't our tax money have been put toward mass transit instead?

Anonymous said...

At the unveiling of plans for a new Mets’ ballpark two weeks ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg scolded Queens Councilmen who were trying to negotiate a community benefits agreement with the team. He called their threats to stall the project a “demand to get some ransom.”

The Yankees agreed to a $50 million deal in the Bronx. The Mets balked at the $1 million requested by Queens lawmakers.


Thank you and good night.

We Light Up Queens said...

As far as parking is concerned, having none available would probably be the best course of action. Having 100 % of fans or close to it purely on local transit would be more effective. I would have to suggest the addition of a new train line to handle this increase, but hey take a look at MSG, no parking works well ( this is also an extreme example) By this stage of my comment I have realized that I have accomplished nothing in this post.

Anonymous said...

No parking at MSG?

Have you ever been??

there's a ginormous parking garage right across the street.

I think MSG and Shea have many parallels.

Both served by subway, commuter train, bus and highways.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge difference between Shea and MSG. The Garden is located in the middle of the city and is accessible using many mass transit options (a bunch of subway lines as well as NJ Transit, which accounts for thousands of fans each game). Shea obviously is reached primarily by car, 7 line or LIRR, and of course is not centrally located within the city.

And while there are some parking garages around the Garden, I doubt they account for anything close to the amount of parking at Shea pre/post construction.

And as a note, when I got on the 7 in Sunnyside on Sunday nite to head to the game it was packed to capacity - and the vast majority were going to the Mets, not the tennis. We didn't have to wait for another train, but only because we squeezed our way on.

Anonymous said...

The first premis of you huge difference is incorrect.. MSG is in the center of manhattan and shea in the center of queens.

Since the capacity of MSG is roughly half of shea they don't need that much parking.

The poster commented that there was
No parking at MSG and I corrected that comment. I'm fact there is loads of parking around MSG

Both venues have many modes if transportation available that stop directly at the front door.

To call on more centrally located is simply wrong

Anonymous said...

With people visiting both venues from around the tri-state area, including many from NJ, how is MSG not more centrally located than Shea? And are you really arguing that both are served by similiar levels of mass transit?

Anonymous said...

both are centrally located and served equally by mass transit and by automobile.


The poster commented that MSG was not condusive to arriving by auto becayse there was NO PARKING and I disagree.

superficially there are differences but thee are many parallells to repeat myself

Anonymous said...

There's already an existing exhibition grade soccer stadium in FMCP near the old Avery Ballfields.

It's quite impressive.
I go to watch some of the games there.

An exciting show....
better than the tired old Mets!

Stan said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professional soccer in the US is a losing enterprise. No one in their right mind would build a stadium dedicated to the sport.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
-----------------------------------

Uhm . . . there are six already (OK, six in MLS, one of which is in Canada, but another's opening in about a month, and two more by 2010).

------------------------
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who gives a **** about soccer in the United States in the first place !
A media company tried a massive promotion with the Beckhams and fell flat on their faces
----------------------------

Or you could do some research and find out it went quite well:
http://www.forbes.com/sportsbusiness/2008/09/09/mls-soccer-beckham-biz-sports-cz_kb_0909mlsvalues.html

Queens Crapper said...

This is quite well?

"Our estimates indicate the league is not yet profitable, with its 13 teams posting an operating loss (in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation) of $20 million on revenue of $165 million."

Stan said...

We were talking about Beckham, weren't we? The allegation seemed to be that the investment in Beckham fell flat on its face, but from where I sit the value of that franchise is 20 times higher than when it started out in 1996, and that franchise made $4 Million in profit last year.

Anonymous said...

The comment was about a promotion, not about the team.

Anonymous said...

And is Beckham planning to play in New York? Because in Jersey they draw about 10,000 on a good night. It's one thing to have the fan base, it's another to ask them to pay sky-high prices to watch.

Stan said...

Sure, that's the point. If there's a market in the country that would respond to a famous player, NY is it. The Red Bulls draw poorly in Jersey because, playing in Giants Stadium, they end up kicking back most of the money any famous player would bring them to the NJSEA that owns it.

When they start playing in their own stadium (Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, which is scheduled to open in late '09) their intent is to sign one of the most famous 20 players around to fill it, because the audience research tells them enough about the NY market to know that it works.

They won't get a star in his prime, but they won't need one, they're not trying to take on the NFL here, they're trying to build a stable product with long term growth potential.

And that's what they've achieved. In 2001, an owner with the cash to run a team could have named his own price. MLS couldn't even find the investors to buy teams for the $5 Million they were nominally priced at.

Now, the lowest valued team in the league is worth $22 Million, and the expansion fee is 40-50 Million.

What happened in the interim? Stadiums just like the one they're talking about for Queens is what happened. When the league stopped trying to sell 25,000 to 30,000 tickets a game renting from the NFL and college football, they found out that most of the league's teams are perfectly viable selling 16,000 or so, and quite profitable at 20k. You don't have to take on the big boys, you don't have to have everything and have it now, to build a league that works.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Boy's & Girls ! There going 2 take the Iron traingle & all the Workers & land owners property & jobs away. And then There gonna make it a parking lot ! For Shity Feild & the new soccer stadium. Take peoples land & jobs for parking ! Great Idea . You watch & see ....Good luck getting around down there . And good luck keeping your jobs & property . Thats for all those pushing for the plan to take peoples land . What comes around goes around ! Karma's A bitch

Anonymous said...

Go Wilpon !!!!
The most important sport in the world must be also in the most important city in the world !!!!

NYCFC in MLS by 2011 !!!!

Anonymous said...

the parking lot will not be in Willets point.... nothing about this soccer stadium will have anything to do with willets point.
they're gonna build a parking structure for any lost parking space near the new stadium.

queens fan said...

Queens Crapper:

This is quite well?

"Our estimates indicate the league is not yet profitable, with its 13 teams posting an operating loss (in the sense of earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation) of $20 million on revenue of $165 million."

When valuing a new business you dont customarily use operating earnings, you use revenues from operations. The numbers that Forbes printed are quite well given the relative youth of the MLS. In fact, if you were to implore your logic to the business of sports then 11 of 30 NBA teams should cease operations, along with exactly 50% of the NHL and your neighbors to the north, the Yankees. All have negative earnings according to Forbes.

Anonymous said...

the fact that 6 cities are fighting to pay a 40 million dollar franchise fee, which will go up to 50 next round of expansion, let by rich investors and owners....
yes...the league is doing a lot better than it was 10 years ago, and will only get more financially sound in years to come.

Queens Crapper said...

Now that the market has crashed, I think not. No one will be building stadiums and no one will be buying tickets.

Anonymous said...

The location would be perfect for a MLS stadium. The 7 train is the biggest soccer hotbed in the country. No one plays baseball in Flushing Meadows Park. It's nothing but soccer (and cricket to a much smaller extent).