From the Queens Chronicle:
Simply put, we cannot understand why the league insists on setting up shop on public property, in a park utilized on any given weekend by thousands of borough residents. This atop a whole litany of lingering concerns.
Questions about the feasibility of building a stadium on a swamp will remain until MLS explains in detail how it will manage to build a stadium in an area where the water table is three feet below the surface at most, according to the 2006 U.S. Geological Survey map. Those concerns are only magnified by the proposed parking facility — not for public use — below the stadium, which we presume will be a wonder of water-repellent engineering.
The league is also ignoring the lack of parking for fans, a problem anyone who frequents the park during the U.S. Open can attest to. While we respect MLS’s traffic advisor, our own contributor Sam Schwartz, his projections that 50 percent of fans will take mass transit still leaves thousands of people driving to games. Where will they park?
Most troubling is the still-unspecified replacement parkland, a major sticking point for many. Yes, the league is required to replace every inch of parkland, but there are no rules mandating it be in our borough. MLS is in the throes of a search, though that process has been closed to public input.
We’re assuming the parkland it ultimately chooses will be safe, clean, close to a populace that will utilize it and accessible. So … why not build the darn stadium there?
From the Queens Tribune:
While Major League Soccer’s proposal for a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park certainly has its supporters – the throngs of people who came out earlier this week is proof of that – it seems as if those opposed to the plan have had their words fall on deaf ears.
We do not argue the fact that a professional soccer team could draw well in Queens. Soccer is, after all, the most popular sport in the world and Queens carries the banner of being a diverse borough, home to many that follow the sport religiously. But we do question the need to put the stadium in a spot that is meant to be free and open to the public. Are there no other areas in Queens that could benefit from a new stadium?
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is an area that should be cherished and maintained as a place where families can go – for free – and spend the day enjoying the scenery. The parkland, which is at a premium in the City, should not be forsaken for some corporate profit.
How about building it on the contaminated MTA property that MLS is suggesting as replacement parkland? This way it will be next to the Flushing River instead of in it. It would also be closer to the subway and LIRR.