From a letter to the editor of the Queens Chronicle by MLS president Mark Abbott:
Your story, “Less recreational space — Teams worry about proposed MLS Stadium in Flushing Meadows Park” (Oct. 11, multiple editions), is a drastic distortion of the reality of our stadium proposal. Most notably, our stadium would not result in a loss of community soccer fields.
In fact, MLS plans to renovate the community soccer fields surrounding the stadium, transforming them into world-class, all-weather turf fields for the community to use year round.We will renovate these fields before the stadium is built and that renovation will be phased so players are impacted as little as possible.
Is that so?
Here's an aerial of Flushing Meadows:
Here's a rendering of MLS' proposal:
Now, I'm not much of a cartographer, but it sure looks to me like 4, maybe 5, soccer fields - two of which are artificial turf that we taxpaying schmucks spent a lot of money on - are going to be swallowed up by this stadium.
Not only that, but it looks like they've proposed to chop down a shitload of trees in the park to install volleyball courts that no one asked for, as well as "relocate" the soccer fields they're stealing to practice areas that currently are situated between the trees. So, they'll be Replacing porous ground and trees with environmentally unfriendly artificial turf, which certainly will not be used inside the stadium, but apparently is good enough for the rest of us. If it burns players in the summer, when the fields will be most heavily used, well tough shit.
In talking with friends and neighbors about what Queens needs most, not one of them mentioned a soccer stadium. Or a mall at CitiField. Or an expansion of the tennis stadium. More parkland, more police, road and sewer repairs, better schools and preventing overdevelopment are the top priorities.