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MLS survey finds Queens wants soccer stadium

A diagram shows where the footprint of the proposed stadium would go in Flushing Meadows Corona Park should Major League Soccer get its wish. Rendering courtesy Major League Soccer
TimesLedger Newspapers

Major League Soccer released a survey last week showing that seven out of 10 Queens residents support building a new 25,000-capacity stadium in Queens.

The survey questioned a representative sample of 650 registered Queens voters, including a special focus on areas near the proposed site at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which made up 150 of the respondents.

“There is tremendous support for building a new pro soccer stadium in Queens. The seven in 10 who are in favor of the project are from across the demographic spectrum, with strong support from the borough’s large soccer fan base,” the survey stated.

The survey was compiled by Global Strategy Group, a national public relations company registered as a lobbyist for MLS, according to a city database.

It paints broad support for a project that has grown more contentious as community groups in neighborhoods like Corona, Flushing and Willets Point rally to put the brakes on development in the borough’s largest greenspace. An over-arching group called the Fairness Coalition, comprised of individual nonprofits, has led the charge to keep large projects out of the park.

MLS would like the stadium to be built on what is known as Industry Pond, a non-working watery relic from the 1964 World’s Fair that is situated at the end of a promenade extending roughly northeast from the Unisphere.

The plan has the support of state Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), but according to Hilary Klein, lead organizer for Make the Road New York, a member of the Fairness Coalition, that land is heavily used for recreation, and regardless of whether the pond is functioning, it is still open space that should not be taken away for a stadium.

In addition, she said, the project should not be considered without taking into account other developments slated for Flushing Meadows.

The city Economic Development Corp. is trying to redevelop nearby Willets Point which includes a 1 million-square-foot shopping mall that will technically be built on parkland that is now a parking lot, and the United States Tennis Association is proposing to expand its borders by less than an acre.

Klein is skeptical the survey is a true representation of how the project is perceived.

“I don’t necessarily think it represents community opinion as a barometer,” Klein said.

MLS released a number of the 35 or so survey questions it said were relevant to TimesLedger Newspapers.

In response to one question, about 60 percent of those consulted said that they had not heard of the project before, while 37 percent were familiar with it.

In a later question, the survey asked: “As you may know, the exact plan for the Major League Soccer stadium is to build it in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. Having heard this, do you support or oppose the plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Queens?”

The margin of support was about the same for this, with 67 percent of the respondents approving.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Alfredo says:
There have been other revelations since their " study " that shows their " approval " ratings are not as high as they originally stated. Of course after critical information that was left out was introduced.

Once again the city allows developers to provide us the taxpayers with " studies" will we be duped yet again?
Nov. 18, 2012, 1:15 pm
Richard from Jackson Heights says:
650 hand picked survey participants? Want MLS's land grab Stadium? Yeah right! About as believable as last weeks non-news of MLS crews supplying post-storm relief to unscathed Flushing Meadows. Meh!
Nov. 18, 2012, 5:39 pm
Hoss from Bayside says:
Enough yapping. Let's get this thing built. I have a box full of Cosmos gear that I want to wear again. Holy cripe! That fountain is nothing more than a nuiscance that homeless people use as a latrine. A nice new stadium will spruce up the joint.
Nov. 19, 2012, 2:49 pm
Mort Gordy III from Broadway-Flushing says:
Agreed. Build it and soon. New stadia are beneficial for areas. Anyone been to the Barclay's Center yet? If done right, this facility will be a jewel that we can all be proud of. I did not take part in the survey but put me down as a yes.
Nov. 19, 2012, 2:55 pm
Annette from Whitestone says:
NO STADIUM!!!! We need the precious open park space.
Nov. 19, 2012, 11:14 pm
Marino from Woodside says:
Yes yes yes please. Would love to have a pro soccer team that I wouldn't need a weapon to safely see. Plus we could have world class club teams playing friendlies right in our back yard.
Nov. 22, 2012, 8:23 pm
Juan from Elmhurst says:
The pool of industry, is unused, filthy, and an eyesore. Take it out, put a stadium in!
Dec. 4, 2012, 11:30 am
Donovan from Forest Hills says:
Yes yes! I'm getting season tickets for the whole family.
April 10, 2013, 2:31 pm
Nusha from Flushing says:
We love soccer to be played here. Also it will create a lot of jobs for the community. It is win win for everybody. Please build a soccer stadium ASAP. We can't wait.
June 4, 2013, 3:59 pm
Nathan from Flushing says:
We can not wait for the new soccer stadium. Thank you Mr. Mayor Bloomberg for supporting. NYC needs major league soccer term. Let us build NOW.
June 4, 2013, 4:03 pm
Martinez from Queens says:
We have been waiting for long time for this. People that I knew thinks it is a great idea in Flushing Queens.
June 4, 2013, 4:07 pm
Cheng from Queens says:
If the news stadium will build Flushing, I will be the first person to get season tickets.
June 4, 2013, 4:09 pm

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