Major League Soccer keeps inching closer to that second team in New York – the one they hope becomes a media tipping point, helping to snare more attention from the major content provider players.
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal says MLS officials will now train their efforts on a beaten-down plot of land in Queens.
If true, the league is finally acquiescing to the reality of the situation. I have heard all along that the site at Pier 40 in Hudson River Park has long held “most-coveted” status on pursuits of a second New York club. Public concerns over usage and parking and such were throwing up obstacles.
Mostly, though, the financing looked impossible; the land there was simply too expensive. (Way more expensive, apparently, than an eight-acre plot now dominated by a concrete pool full of stagnant water. Lovely, eh?)
An MLS ground in Queens would give the league a presence near other prominent sports homes, like baseball’s Citi Field and tennis’ Billie Jean National Tennis Center. So, there’s some appeal to that.
Nothing is settled, of course. The section of Queens as an MLS destination seems to enjoy some local political support, always a good start. But these things can come unglued in about 28 different ways. It can become someone’s political football, or the NIMBYs can make a stand or someone can block stadium efforts to leverage other pursuits, etc.
Still, giving up the Pier 40 dream and moving on to more realistic pursuits could represent real progress, at least.