Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended plans to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Monday, saying green space in Queens is not "irreplaceable," the New York Post reports.
“On balance there’s an enormous amount of new park land,” he said. “But it’s not the only thing people need. A lot of people want a stadium to enjoy soccer.”
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Major League Soccer is expected to announce plans in the next few weeks for a 25,000-seat stadium that will sit on about 13 acres.
But a new park that will soon replace old Flushing Airport in College Point will make up for the loss of green space, the mayor added.
That response wasn't good enough for some opponents to the plan.
“If Flushing Airport is the best replacement we can find, that just indicates no green space can replace Flushing Meadows Park,” Hilary Klein of Make the Road New York told the Post.
Local elected officials and activists have been fighting to block the sale of the land at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Opponents say the Queens park is irreplaceable, and that a soccer stadium would lead to pollution.