Updated: Aug 2
The relatively new soccer team New York City FC (“NYCFC”) just received approval to build a new stadium set to open in 2025, the first soccer-specific stadium in the New York City area. NYCFC has played in several different sites throughout their 11-year history including Red Bull Arena in New Jersey and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx where for several years the club has played on one of the smallest-sized professional soccer fields in the world. The new stadium is expected to seat 25,000 people and be located right next to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, in Willets Point, Queens. This stadium project is one of the centerpieces in the Borough’s “Willet’s Point Revitalization Plan.” The total cost is expected to be $780 million and will be privately financed.
The Willet’s Point Revitalization Plan has also planned to build the city’s largest 100% affordable housing development in 40 years estimated with 2,500 homes, 40,000 square feet of public open space, a 650-seat school, a 250-key hotel, and ground-floor retail shops. The stadium will serve as a draw for tourists and New Yorkers from the surrounding area with the hopes to develop and revitalize the community.
The Willet’s Point Revitalization Plan’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure was recently approved and the final steps prior to starting construction are nearing a conclusion. This procedure is the 4th of a 5-step process of conducting a large-scale project in Queens. The building application process in Queens is relatively simple, requiring the application to be 100% ready to start construction prior to being approved. When preparing the application, the building contractors must make sure the project meets the Borough’s zoning restrictions and have completed building blueprints for the entire project. Once the application is finished, they must submit it to the New York City Department of City Planning. If approved, they must also have it reviewed and approved by the New York City Public Design Committee. After completing all these steps, they are allowed to begin construction. The two City departments ensure that the interests of the community are protected if any major projects like this one are to be built.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke to the media after the procedure was approved saying: “This continued investment in New York City will create a long-overdue home for our first team, and create a new neighborhood for Queens.” NYCFC playing in their own soccer-specific stadium is still a ways away, but they are taking steps in the right direction and making sure the community benefits from the growth of this soccer club.
Evan Lautato, Rising 2L at St. John’s University School of Law, www.linkedin.com/in/evan-lautato-a4bb14178