The controversial Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park finally showed its face, but then went back into hiding.
According to the blog A Walk in the Park, fans and those opposed got their first glimpse of the proposed stadium on Tuesday, February 26. The renderings were leaked after a video was uploaded of a February 1 presentation at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, where Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects paused his focus on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to give his students a view of what he called an unnamed project at an unknown location.
Hours after the images spread around the Internet, the video was pulled off the SB Nation “Nets Daily” blog, where it was first published. According to the blog, viewers got a taste of the exterior and interior of the stadium and an idea of just how large the structure will be.
The leaked images of the proposed stadium, say detractors, brought to reality some of the problems the project will bring to the community.
“This is a nightmare, now we know why MLS has been trying so hard to keep renderings of the stadium out of the public eye. This is massive. The stadium represents the equivalent of parking three enormous aircraft carriers in the middle of a public park,” said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates.
Yet, according to Major League Soccer, the drawings show nothing.
“These drawings do not represent what the stadium will look like,” MLS president Mark Abbott said in a statement. “In fact, we haven’t selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club. This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint.”
Plans for the MLS stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park were announced in October and it is expected to seat 25,000 soccer fans and host 20 games a year.
-With additional reporting by Terence M. Cullen