Expansion updates used to be a very regular feature on this site, as we followed the introduction of teams like Seattle, Montreal, Portland and more into Major League Soccer. Yet with the Impact’s move to MLS now in rear view mirror there are no immediate plans for the league to add any new teams. Yet the league is continuing to hunt for its great white whale, the 20th franchise, rooted and based in the boroughs of New York City. League officials have made no secret that New York is the target, and the league took a big step in that direction on Tuesday night.
Members of the league office (including the Commissioner), fans, youth players and more joined a reportedly raucous meeting to discuss the possibility of construction a 25k seat stadium in Queens. According to the New York Times, “Garber said the stadium would be financed privately and create at least 3,000 permanent and temporary jobs.” Further according to the Times, “the league said every inch of parkland used for the new stadium would be replaced elsewhere in the community. The stadium’s footprint would be 10 to 13 acres, Garber said, adding that six and a half of those acres would replace the Fountain of Planets, a site that is currently fenced off. Less than two acres of the proposed stadium site is grassland, he said.”
As I have said repeatedly on this site, a successful franchise in New York would be great for the league and would certainly attract top talent. The team would likely do well at the gate and would start a great rivalry with the Red Bulls. However, it is also likely that a New York team would still struggle to create buzz in the New York market and would likely be ignored by most of the mainstream sports media. Other than the Times, none of the major NY papers covered the Queens hearing.
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