The franchise owners have failed in building a soccer stadium in New York City.
Major League Soccer’s NYCFC franchise ownership group has been looking to build a stadium somewhere in the New York City area for years. There is now a possibility that the franchise owners have found a spot in Queens. The soccer club plays the majority of its games at a baseball park, Yankee Stadium, but a baseball park really is not an ideal soccer stadium. In 2011, NYCFC ownership looked into building a stadium for its expansion team in lower Manhattan but there was community opposition so that plan was scrapped. Then there was a plan floated in 2012 that would see a Flushing Meadows stadium near the United States Tennis Center and Major League Baseball’s New York Mets ballpark. That met local opposition and Mets ownership wasn’t too keen on the notion and the plan died. A proposal to build a stadium near Yankee Stadium in 2013 was shot down by newly-elected mayor Bill de Blasio in early 2014.
In 2016-2017 there was a report that NYCFC would team up with Columbia University to build a stadium in upper Manhattan but that fell through. NYCFC lost a bid to develop the Belmont Park Racetrack land that was controlled by New York State in 2017 to the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders ownership group. NYCFC owners looked into building a stadium at two Bronx sites and nothing came of that. Now it is Queens that is in the spotlight again with a stadium proposal near the Mets stadium. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said recently, “If you like soccer, the redevelopment of Willets Point, we’re going to have some announcements on with New York Football Club.” That does not mean NYCFC will be able to build a stadium there, it is difficult to build a New York City stadium of any type. But it seems to be a viable option.
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