The most recent updates on the proposed MLS soccer stadium in Queens showed much disinterest from each of the mayoral candidates. The main concern being the lack of guarantee of where the parkland will be restored, which has been an issue with past development projects. Although most news has been reporting what seems like negative feedback on the proposed stadium there has been a great deal of positive feedback and expectations of what the development can bring to the city.
The project has gained support from the Hotel Trades Council, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and the service employees union, 32Bj SEIU, their main reason for support being the creation of jobs. These unions represent hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women and recognize that this could be a driving economic force creating construction jobs, permanent jobs and sales-tax revenue for the city as well as NY state. The unions have also argued another important point—with the addition of this stadium we could see an increase in business for nearby restaurant, retails stores and bars. Although traffic in the area may increase, it will without doubt increase revenue for the city.
England Premier League’s Manchester City owner billionaire Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, is pushing for a deal. In recent news, it has been rumored that the Manchester City owner is willing to pay a $100 million expansion fee to create the MLS’s 20th team “New York City F.C.” They wish to begin play in 2016 and introduce the stadium in time for Manchester City’s exhibition game at Yankee Stadium against their rival Chelsea. Mansour sees this as a huge opportunity to develop the Manchester City brand and attract a wider television audience, which can potentially bring greater MLS interest in New York as well as the U.S., which has been experiencing little attention compared to other professional sports clubs like the NFL, MLB and NBA.
It seems as though the key to this deal is Mayor Bloomberg who has supported the stadium from the beginning and hopes to see this deal through before his last term is up. With an extremely motivated prospective buyer, union support and Mayor Bloomberg behind the stadium, we may see a new stadium in development within the next few weeks.