Bronx residents voice opinions over potential NYCFC stadium

New York City FC

By FRANCO PANIZO

It appears New York City FC has some convincing to do.

Hundreds of residents of the Bronx gathered for a town hall meeting on Wednesday night to discuss NYCFC’s proposal to bring a soccer-specific stadium to the borough, and several voiced displeasure over potentially having to use tax money to help build it.

All residents in attendance were asked to fill out a survey of questions surrounding the potential stadium, which the proposed plan says would take up space from 157th to 153rd streets and eliminate the entrance ramp for the Major Deegan Expressway. Among the things asked were if residents would welcome a new open-air stadium near Yankee Stadium and where they think funding for the project should come from.

It is currently unknown if the project would get a tax break or if the construction would provide local jobs. Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., however, has been a supporter of an MLS team finding a home in the Bronx and will be looking at different locations in the borough in an effort to get the proposal approval.

NYCFC begins play in MLS in 2015 and will play in temporary home until its stadium is constructed.

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Would you like to see a SSS built in the Bronx? Prefer one of the other boroughs? Starting to doubt that NYCFC gets a deal for a stadium in the not-too-distant future?

Share your thoughts below.

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65 Responses to Bronx residents voice opinions over potential NYCFC stadium

  1. bbstl says:

    Hmmm, this sounds like it may end up being a cluster. What is the over/under on years in Yankee Stadium?

    • Alex H says:

      Nobody listens to the little people. So long as the stadium developers have kept up their bribery…er I mean lobbying, this stadium will proceed on schedule.

      • Crane Jackson's Fountain Street Theatre says:

        By “little people”, you mean the grungy hippie kids living off their parents’ money who like to protest anything and everything?

  2. slowleftarm says:

    This poorly thought out plan has disaster written all over it. I have a hard time seeing DeBlasio using tax dollars to build a stadium for a team owned by Sheikh Mansour and the Yankees. Looks like a long stay at Yankee Stadium is in the cards!

    • islandofmind says:

      Looks like you’re commenting on some other story – what I read tells me that the questions are being *asked* at the meeting.
      I mean it isn’t like they opened the doors, brought in a bunch of locals and said: “Now, here’s what we’re gonna do and this is what it’s gonna cost you.” Community meetings let you hear what people think and want so a suitable response can be devised. If you don’t ask people what’s important to them you’ll do nothing but make one mistake after another. This is all part of the lengthy process of involving the community in a project so you get them to buy-in. There will always be dead-enders who say: “build it over my dead body” but after a series of meetings where planners/designers have shown the will and desire to respond to local concerns more and more people begin to see how the project would benefit them.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, DeBlasio will give all the tax dollars to the unions.

  3. Ian says:

    Why would Sheikh Mansour ask for tax dollars? He has more money than god. Asking for tax funding will inevitably breed discontent with the locals who are probably lukewarm on a soccer stadium as it stands.

    • patrick says:

      you dont get rich (or stay rich) by spending money.

    • Increase says:

      I am of the opinion all the insane spending by various middle eastern oil barons/countries is basically a way of making sure that in 40 years their countries have some sort of income. They basically have no natural resources outside of oil. This is basically their only to still be real countries in 100 years.

      • Ian says:

        I know that’s true of the UAE. The Emirates have been trying to diversify their economy for well over a decade since oil is a finite resource. I don’t know if Qatar, Bahrain, or Kuwait are employing the same tactics, but they’re obviously in the same boat as petro-nations.

    • Dave says:

      The New York Yankees (and any other sports business) do not want to set any precedent for the future where the city expects sports teams to fully pay for their projects.

      Rent free, tax free – ANYTHING will do to keep the door open in the future.

    • Lord of the Goal says:

      It’s called corporatism. It’s where private entities or corporations purchase influence with popularity contest winners and bureaucrats. Then the bureaucrats & popularity contest winners gift the corporations and private entities money taken from individuals via coercion under the guise of an unsigned and unexplained social contract.

  4. beto says:

    building anything in NY is a complicated and expensive process.. no surprise that this is getting a little bit of resistance.

    but ya.. keep the public tax dollars out of this! MLS definitely has used the least amount of tax dollars on stadiums compared to the other leagues and this should be one of those cases with this ownership group.

  5. bottlcaps says:

    As someone who has called and presided over town hall meetings for new construction of controversial projects (I was a city planner) You need to keep the meeting focused. Questionnaires are a good idea. Many of the supporters of a project will not speak up when the meeting in commandeered by a few. The questionnaire provides an outlet for support/concerns that the town hall leaders can look at more closely.

    Lets not forget that the people speaking for/against are a very, very,very small subset of all who live an work in the Bronx. It has been my experience that, while some may represent a block of concerned citizens with straightforward responses and concerns, there will most certainly be some who have an axe to grind, are politically motivated and their concerns are to not address the issues before them but are generally a bitch session.

    But I think those holding the meetings know this. But it is a perception to some, that may not know the dynamics of town hall meetings, that things may appear bad, but in reality has garnered a great deal of support.

  6. Sly says:

    As a NYC resident. I will probably go to games in the bronx. Especially considering it wouldnt be that far into the bronx. But the transportation time vs going to redbull arena or NY Etihad will be comparable for me coming from Queens. as such it will depend on who’s playing who.

    This will get xero tax dollars and the sheik wont even notice.

    • malkin says:

      Transportation time coming from Queens is not even close. You’re already in the subway system and have 1 transfer, then it’s less than 20 minutes on the 4 train from Grand Central. Getting to RBA you still have to transfer to another subway line, exit subway system and walk to the PATH, wait for the PATH (much longer than the 4 train), then still have that hike to RBA and the disaster that is getting back on at the end the match. Not only that, there’s no additional expense because you get to use your unlimited metrocard.

      I go to Yankee games and Red Bull games from North Brooklyn via Queens. Yankee games take me about 40 minutes. RBA takes me more like an 1h40.

      • iggy says:

        have you tried NJT to Newark Penn? Extra cost, but more comfortable and faster if you can work with the train schedule.

      • slowleftarm says:

        RBA is similar time or faster from most of NYC compared to Yankee Stadium. Obviously depends where you are. The additional $2.50 cost of using PATH is not a major factor and NJ Transit is also an option.

      • RBNY says:

        It’s all about the state of the game in this area, and with that comes attendance. You figure, on a normal matchday, RBNY will get 15-18k out there… When we played Fire for the Supporters Shield, we had a sellout. The playoff game was also a sellout, 26k.

        People are NOT going to be flocking to see NYCFC at Yankee Stadium just because its within the 5 boroughs. People will be curious for the first game or two, or when LA or RBNY play there – but that will be it until meaningful games are played. Add that to the fact that sightlines will suck, and the stadium will be wide open, empty, and soulless – and I believe attendance will dwindle early on.

        This is coming from a born and bred Bronxite. It would take me 15 minutes (couch to stadium seat) from my apartment – but I’ll still take my 2 hour trek to RBA every matchday as always.

  7. Human says:

    Seriously two rich organizations asking for taxpayer dollars from Brooklyn. They are really trying to mess this up especially with the state of the U.S. right now economically.

  8. CS says:

    My fantasy:

    Since they have successfully covered rail tracks in Brooklyn and are on pace to do the same in Manhattan, do the same with the rail yards in “Queens West,” just past LIC. That section of Queen is interrupted by this huge gap. Covering it would give a platform for an entire new community, not unlike Battery Park City.

    So there would be mixed-use neighborhood (office, retail residential, parks) that includes a stadium: Queens Bridge Stadium.

    Frankly, that’s a “shovel ready” project that you could point to, that would produce real economic impact to a community. Sadly, the other “shovel ready” projects we were sold resulted in billions evaporating into thin air.

    • Mike C says:

      People need to stop believing the “economic impact” BS that team owners and real estate developers like to throw around. There’s a lot of research out that pretty much debunks this myth:

      link to thinkprogress.org

      A common conclusion of these kinds of studies is that people have finite amounts of disposable income. A new stadium for NYCFC is not going to magically make people open their wallets more. They’ll just shift their spending from something else (movies, bars, restaurants, etc. etc.)

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Course…. there is a chance it might bring some folks into the Bronx who wouldn’t otherwise make the trip to catch a movie or a bite to eat.

  9. Uncle Grandpa says:

    Build it in Queens

    Knock down some buildings

    • Joamiq says:

      The Yankees are not building a stadium in Queens.

    • Tom says:

      While that would be nice and pretty convenient for a good portion of the city, it’s probably a no-go. The Yankees won’t try it — not if they don’t want a visit from an angry Mr. Met. And it’s really serious, a visit from a very angry Mrs. Met.

  10. RBNY says:

    sh*t fans, no ground.

  11. Brett Bates says:

    Get this stadium figured out asap please. I’m tired of listening to each RBNY fan complain about their individual commute how difficult it is to ride on trains and god forbid having to switch trains. Maybe these RBNY fans should have spoke up before the that stadium was built in New Jersey and pushed to have the stadium actually in the City metro area.

    • RBNY says:

      We tried. So did the Jets LOL. It was a no-go. Instead RedBull went to Harrison and built what they envisioned. Over the next few years the surrounding area will be built up to match the nice stadium.

    • RBNY says:

      Also, Harrison is still within the Metro area. PATH covers that.

    • slowleftarm says:

      The complaints are tiresome but RBA is actually about the same distance from mid-town/lower manhattan as Yankee Stadium and closer for some other parts of NYC. Just because it’s in NJ doesn’t mean it’s not part of the metro area.

    • Joamiq says:

      The complaints are mostly from weirdos looking for excuses not to go to games, not RB fans.

    • AcidBurn says:

      People will not stop bitching until you get a stadium that you can get to using the subway.

      Then people will start bitching about the MTA service, the length of their commute, the horrible stench in the subway stations, the temperature on the platform, the time between trains…

      Bitching about transportation is a NY thing.

  12. Jerry says:

    Yonkers FC?

    Mount Vernon United?

  13. jaybeezwax says:

    Flatbush FC?

  14. El Paso tx says:

    Fans will show up and if you add the fact that nycfc will get 3dps at the top level. Not only will nycfc get top 3dps but they will probably have the best marketing in MLS and better than red bull. Nycfc will not fail and their stadium will get done before 2018 no matter what. The question is, cosmos is looking for land and they are waiting for nycfc to established their soccer stadium land. So red bull is nj and west Manhattan, nycfc will be Bronx and north Manhattan, and cosmos queens and Long Island and Brooklyn.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I can assure you that El Paso will get a team in MLS before Hempstead Cosmos join.

    • Sam says:

      Got it in one, El Paso! I’m sure NYCFC will work out something, especially since they’ve made such a fuss about a stadium in the city’s limits rather than placing it vaguely in the metro area. Though I think Brooklyn might trend more towards Red Bull or NYCFC than Cosmos. For reasons beyond any logical explanation, Queens/Long Island and Brooklyn aren’t well connected via public transportation, especially in regards to the subways (where a detour through Manhattan is often needed). Only the hipsters and true hardcore fans will go Green.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Brooklyn supporting the Cosmos? Dude, put down whatever you are smoking. Yeah, I’m sure Brooklyn residents are going to schlep to the Queens/LI border for games to see a 2nd division team. Suuuuuure.

  15. steve desio says:

    The shock for the NYCFC group was that they were unable to get the site in Flushing, Quenns location next tow Citi Field.
    I really do not think that they want the stadium in the Bronx, they already have Yankee stadium their.
    With the Nets and Shortly the Islanders at Baclays in Brooklyn that is going over very well. Having an outdoor pro sports veneu to play during the summer and Fall when there is no NHL or NBA would bring a pro sports team to Brooklyn to follow all year round.

  16. AcidBurn says:

    Still wish Sheik Mansour would just dump a billion dollars at it and build the stadium on Pier 40. That would instantly be one of the top 10 most scenic stadiums in the world. Yeah, will never happen in a million years because of all the NIMBYs, but could you imagine having NYCFC playing in Hudson River Park? Epic.

  17. martin says:

    If these guys are sooooo rich, put it in Manhattan… What, no space? Buy a property and bulldoze whatever’s standing.

    • steve desio says:

      WOW wouldn’t that be something if they are willing to spend some of the Major bucks that both MAN CITY and The Yankees have.
      Having it in a high class area could bring out a whose whoat NYCNY games with celebrities galore attemding games.
      Who Knows what celebs make their home in Manhatten that are huge soccer fans and would purchase suites for the season.

  18. inkedAG says:

    I would love it in either Queens (childhood home) and Brooklyn (current & familial home). It’s where I’m from. :)

    • steve desio says:

      I like the idea of Brookyn as well opposed to a Bronx location. The Barclay Center will serve as a winter sport destination with the Nets and Islanders and a summer destination for MLS soccer

  19. pat says:

    If MLS wants to mimic the success of Seattle & Portland, don’t put the stadium in the Bronx. LIC makes the most sense if there isn’t room for it in like Greenpoint.

  20. Mark says:

    If the Cosmos win the New York State RFP and are granted permission to build a stadium on the Belmont property, I don’t envision them staying in the NASL for too long. That would send NYCFC up a creek…I don’t see there being three soccer stadiums in the metro area. If that happens, NYCFC should buy the Cosmos, scrap the Five Boros, and settle for playing on the Queens-Nassau border. Instant brand recognition (better than Man City) in this area, and corner the LI and Queens fans.

    • steve desio says:

      Wasn’t that deal snubbed by the area of Queens/Nassua which put them in this predicument in the first place.

      • Mark says:

        The stadium deal that was snubbed was the proposed MLS deal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Park. That is where the NY2 team would’ve been destined to play, before the announcement that the Yankees and Man City were involved. The Belmont proposal is in direct response to a NY state request for proposals to develop the property.

        • steve desio says:

          Good for the Cosmos to go along with the state request for cooperate with the state in helping to develop the property.

          I wonder now since the NY2 side is going to be a MANN/YYANKEES owned that another attempt with monies coming from the club ownership to build the stadium that the Flushing Neadows Park will be given another chance.
          Wspecially since that is really where they want the stadium

  21. steve desio says:

    Belmont just being outside city limits sounds perfect for the Cosmos. I do not see them getting into the MLS as they will not confine themselves to the single entitiy model that is not going away anytime soon.
    Also as for stadium size thingking that a 25K MLS size stadium would be a mistake at this time. Using the Montrreal Impact model of going with a smaller 12K with all of the ammenities and the ability to expand later should the situation demand it.

  22. Lord of the Goal says:

    Food for thought for those of us whom despise corporatist greed: Beckham’s Miami team will fund it’s stadium entirely with private funds! The way it should be.

    • steve desio says:

      yea. I would think that will eventually happen the the MANN/YANKEES club as well.
      I guess maybe the protocal calls for them to at least see if some public funds can be secured.
      If so and they do need to fund it all themselves they should be looking at several possible sites outside the Bronx.

  23. steve desio says:

    With both clubs having extremely high profiles have some very first class sponsors who may just be more than happy to be Kit sponsors and naming rights to the stadium especially in an area like Flushing.
    They need to open their pockets and get the sponsors to open their pockets as well and should be able to get a pretty nice deal for a stadium sponsor that would certainly help with payment of the stadium.
    Also naming rights for special ammenities inside the stadium like in Hamilton with the Coors Light patio and the Segrams lounge etc.