Sunday, November 13, 2011
Finance chair likes Forest Hills Stadium plan
From the Daily News:
A nonprofit group that hopes to bring back tennis to a Queens stadium that long hosted the U.S. Open may get taxpayer cash for its ambitious plan, the Daily News has learned.
The chairman of the City Council’s Finance ommittee has proposed a public-private partnership to back what he calls a “beautiful” plan to rejuvenate West Side Stadium in Forest Hills.
Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia hailed the nonprofit Stadium Arts Alliance for its vision to host major tennis matches, concerts, art exhibits and ice hockey in the aging landmark.
“Now is the time we have to address this,” Recchia said of re-using the crumbling venue where the U.S. Open was played from 1923 to 1977.
The alliance’s chairman, John Banks, said he “absolutely” supports the partnership.
“Anything that would help make this more of a reality is something we would be interested in discussing,” he said.
The club that owns the stadium is reviewing bids from developers who are mostly believed to have proposed gutting the structure for condos.
The club, which is expected to pick a winner early next year, can complete a sale or lease only with a two-thirds majority of its members.
Recchia called the alliance’s proposal “a victory for the entire community.” He said it’s too early to break down how much city money the alliance might snag.