Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pols supportive of MLS dog-and-pony show

Photo by Geoffrey Croft/A Walk in the Park
From the Daily News:

Major League Soccer put on a grand show of support for a $300 million stadium in Queens on Tuesday night — recruiting the bulk of the audience for a packed town hall meeting.

About half of the seats in the Queens Theatre in the Park auditorium were reserved for co-sponsors and boosters, including soccer teams and construction union members.

They were told to arrive at least 30 minutes early — all but ensuring opposing voices were shut out of the 472-seat room, critics said.

“They actively kept out anyone with an opposing view,” said Stony Brook University city planning professor Donovan Finn, who is against the plan at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

MLS officials admitted half the seats were reserved, but noted the auditorium filled quickly.

From A Walk in the Park:

Most of the seats in the theater were filled by groups the league had invited to the event, like Queens High School Soccer, Big Apple Youth Soccer, the Borough Boys, the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York, Allfut, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Shortly after 7 p.m. — by which point the audience had already partaken of M.L.S.-provided beef and chicken empanadas, collected "Let's bring pro soccer to Queens" T-Shirts," and listened to Spanish-language pop music blaring from the speakers — Univision's star sportscaster Fernando Fiore burst onto the Queens Theatre stage blowing a vuvuzela, according to Capital.

While trying to rev-up the packed crowd - which numbered in the hundreds - Fiore asked how many people play soccer in the park - about 12 hands went up.

As justification for wanting to seize the parkland they want to use to build a 35,000 seat stadium the project's proponents have waged a campaign to disparage the land in a variety of ways.

Apparently not familiar with public fountain policies MLS Commissioner Garber repeatedly stressed that the Fountain of The Planets, the area where they want to build half of the proposed stadium, was "not accessible."

"So It's closed, its closed," Mr. Fiore pressed. "You can't swim."

From the NY Times:

While support for the stadium ran high, concerns surfaced. Toby Ann Stavisky, a state senator from the 16th District, said that she supported the stadium but that more information needed to be exchanged.

“I have questions about the relationship between the soccer field, Major League Soccer and the agreement that they’re going to reach with the City of New York,” Stavisky said. “There are a lot of questions that have not been answered.”

Stavisky mentioned a recent report in Crain’s New York Business that provided details of a prospective deal outlined by the Bloomberg administration, including a 35-year lease at $1 a year with no property taxes or revenue sharing with the city.

“These are issues that have to be resolved,” Stavisky said, adding: “I have reservations about the two areas that they have suggested as parkland. I think they can do better.”

Asked which sites had been suggested as replacement parks, Stavisky declined to comment, saying such information was confidential.

Actually, no it's not. It's public information.

From the Queens Courier:

Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Mark Weprin agreed that before any official stance could be taken on the proposal, a dedicated, well-researched site for the new land has to be chosen.

“I don’t think we can responsibly take a position until we know all the details,” Vallone said. “Especially regarding what parkland would replace the park. This has to be parkland that effectively replaces and is as usable as this parkland is.”

Weprin said he was currently open minded to the idea, but many of the concerns first had to be addressed before any decision could be made.

“I think it could be great for economic development in the area,” he said. “But there are a lot of concerns that I would like to see addressed before we approve it. To reject it out right would be a mistake.”

Bend over, Queens. Here it comes.


Anonymous said...


Maybe when there's another superstorm and the stadium is destroyed BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BUILD IT DIRECTLY ON TOP of the Flushing River (the Fountain of Planets actually sits on top of it currently) there will be hems and haws, hand wringing and clucking of tongues.

That's after all the politicians get their campaign contributions, of course, and are safely re-elected.

Better check the contribution database, Crappy!

Jerry Rotondi said...

Consider tearing down "Theater In The Park" and building the soccer stadium there if you must build it at all in FMCP.


It's a crappy venue anyway--even though millions have been spent on renovating this leftover "Theater In The Round" Worlds Fair leftover--which was built upon temporary pilings.

Yankee fan said...

Demolish City Field. It sucks. The Mets suck.
Soccer is the more popular sport nowadays anyway!

Anonymous said...

I can see it all now...
violent clashes between amped up soccer fans.

It will make the 5th Ave. Puerto Rican Day Parade look tame!

"Chika, chika"...
cerveza, and the groping that goes with it.

Madre de Dios!

Anonymous said...

That's one way to fill up Theater In The Dark to capacity.

They can never do it with their own 4th rate productions.

Oh well...this humble theater is Queens' alternative to Albert Spear's Nurmberg Stadium.

But we do have our own home grown mini Nazi pols around to stage a big rally.

"Sieg soccer...sieg soccer...sieg soccer"!

Quiet now, here comes Der Fuhrer.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising that someone invoked Godwin's law into this whole debate... even though it's about a soccer stadium and parkland.

Nonetheless, packing a so-called "town hall meeting" with supporters of a stadium was a bush league move. The way in which opponents/critics of the plan were blocked out is deplorable. On that alone, the plan should be blocked, because it demonstrates that the league cannot be trusted to do the right thing by the city and the community.

Anonymous said...

So...I see that MLS intends to support youth and local programs.

Yeah...right...bull shit wrapped in horse shit!

Is that going to wind up the same way that the USTA screwed the locals with the same broken promises?

These hucksters always promise the kids something.
Once they're in these mobsters have their way with the community!

Queens Crapper said...

Godwin's Law? I think that's a stretch. The comment was clearly facetious.

Anonymous said...

It's time for some very unCIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

The ONLY TIME opponents of this MLS fiasco will be heard...the next time they try to freeze them out of the if they are willing to BREAK DOWN THE DAMN FUCKING DOORS !

Nobody notices nothing until a few arrests are made.
THEN you catch national headlines!

Anonymous said...

Not a word from Simanowitz or any of the Borough President contenders. Not even a peep from Avella. Disgusting. We must flood their mailboxes with letters.

Anonymous said...

Private enterprise, use private funds and private property. Leave the park alone.

Anonymous said...

And this doesn't work because...?

Anonymous said...

What's changed from the 1980's when soccer failed?

Let MLS buy the necessary land from private owners. Why do they need public park land anyway?

Anonymous said...

How about using Metropolitan Oval?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Even the weeklies know better this time.

Anonymous said...

Al Centola said it best check it out he was the first to come out against this bullshit deal

Way to go Al

Keep up the fight