[MLS EXPANSION]MLS President Mark Abbottcalled Flushing Meadows Corona Park the ideal spot for a soccer stadium and pushed back against local opposition to the home for MLS's proposed 20th franchise.
"It is probably the most diverse community not just in New York City, not just the country, but arguably the world," Abbott said. "So if you were to pick the ideal location for a soccer club in the world, it would be in Queens and it would be in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park."
Abbott explained plans for the stadium and its impact on the community in a discussion with New York Hispanic media. MLS is working to win support in the Queens community for the project. There are concerns that the stadium will replace park space, and hundreds have expressed their opposition at community meetings.
"If you look at where the stadium is going, it will take up approximately one acre of any green space that currently exists and we will replace that green space elsewhere,” Abbott said. “We will replace whatever parkland is taken up by the stadium with parkland somewhere else nearby."
Assuming all goes as planned, construction would begin in 2014, and the stadium would open in 2016.