NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – How does professional soccer in Queens sound?
It’s long been a rumor, but now the proposal has taken a twist.
There has been talk for some time now that a brand-new $300 million soccer stadium for MLS would potentially be built in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
But now, the Mets are throwing their hat into the ring.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said on Thursday that the National League club is “very interested and fully capable” of bringing Major League Soccer to Citi Field, the New York Daily News reported on Thursday.
“We have a state-of-the-art stadium sitting there waiting to be used a few yards away,” Vallone said, according to the newspaper. “This way we get to keep the parkland and we get Major League Soccer in Queens.”
Mets Vice President of Media Relations Jay Horwitz admitted that the idea is in fact being considered.
“The Mets would be open to discussing the use of Citi Field for a potential MLS team,” Horwitz said in a statement.
MLS spokeswoman Risa Heller, however, is not a proponent of bringing soccer to the four-year-old stadium.
“An MLS team at Citi Field is a nonstarter for us,” she said in a statement. “A soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a win for soccer fans, a win for the Queens community and a win for economic development.”
Assemblyman Francisco Moya is also against the idea, though he is heavily in favor of bringing professional soccer to the borough. MLS officials have said that a new stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park would create 2,100 to 2,300 construction jobs, 160 full-time jobs and 750 part-time positions, the Daily News reported.
Donovan Finn, an open-space advocate who is against building the stadium in the park, believes that using Citi Field would be the perfect solution.
“This sounds great for Citi Field — more business, more revenue, less competition,” he said. “(And) it doesn’t take away much-needed parkland.”
Is this a viable option? Would it work? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below…