Queens residents fight to block sheik’s purchase of park land

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (NYC Parks Department)

People in Queens are trying to block a billionaire sheik from buying land to build a soccer stadium.

The Fairness Coalition of Queens, a group that works to protect Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, rallied outside the United Arab Emirates embassy yesterday to protest the potential move.

Councilman Peter Vallone said he does not want the city to sell 13 acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park land to Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.

Mansour, a billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, wants to build a 35,000-seat soccer stadium inside the park for a new Major League Soccer franchise, Vallone said.

The city could do this for $1, Vallone said.

“One dollar for land in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park? That’s the worst land grab since Peter Minuit paid $24 for the island of Manhattan,” Vallone said. “Sheikh Mansour’s self-serving financial scheme would never fly in Central Park, and it certainly shouldn’t be able to take flight at the expense of precious parkland in Queens.”

Added Queens resident Leandra Requena, who protested at the embassy, “Our park is not for sale.”

Mansour owns the English franchise Manchester City.

His bid to buy the stadium has also encountered resistance because of concerns about his country’s human rights record, one that the Fairness Coalition said represses human rights.

Councilman Daniel Dromm raised concerns about “a country where being gay or lesbian is a crime punishable by death,” according to the Telegraph.

The city administration did not respond to a request for comment this afternoon.

An official announcement is reportedly expected May 25,when Manchester City faces off against Chelsea at Yankee Stadium.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.