New stadium for soccer’s NYCFC to be built next to Mets home

Nov 16, 2022, 2:04 PM | Updated: 2:18 pm
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, bottom right, speaks at an event in the Queens Museum in New York, ...

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, bottom right, speaks at an event in the Queens Museum in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. Adams was announcing the construction of a new soccer stadium, along with thousands of units of affordable housing, in the dilapidated section of Queens known as Willets Point. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans Wednesday for a 25,000-seat stadium for Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club on an underdeveloped parcel of land adjoining the New York Mets’ home.

The $780 million stadium, slated to open in 2027 in the neighborhood known as Willets Point, will anchor a 23-acre redevelopment project that will also include 2,500 units of affordable housing, a new public school and a hotel, officials said.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a brand-new neighborhood,” Adams said at a news conference with other elected officials as well as representatives of the MLS and the project’s developers.

The new stadium will be New York City’s first venue dedicated to professional soccer. The 2021 MLS championship-winning NYCFC has played the majority of its home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx since joining the league in 2015.

It will be privately financed by NYCFC’s owners, including United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who also owns the Manchester City Football Club, and the Yankees.

“Today is one of the most momentous days in the history of our great league,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who grew up near the site of the planned stadium. Garber said he has dreamed of having “a cathedral” for soccer in Queens for 12 years.

The plans released Wednesday represent the latest effort to transform Willets Point — for decades a cluster of auto body shops lacking proper sewers.

“This was a blighted, underutilized, and ignored piece of real estate in our city,” Adams said. “It had little infrastructure and was prone to flooding.”

The city owns the land and will lease it to the football club and to the housing development team, which includes Related Companies and Sterling Equities, which is partly controlled by by the Wilpon family, the former Mets owners.

The stadium will be a neighbor to Citi Field, where the Mets play, and to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open is played.

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New stadium for soccer’s NYCFC to be built next to Mets home