Mets Interested in Hosting MLS Squad at Citi Field
New York, NY
The New York Mets are interested in bringing in a Major League Soccer (MLS) squad in Queens.
According to City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., the baseball team is "very interested and fully capable" of hosting MLS action at Citi Field.
"We have a state-of-the-art stadium sitting there waiting to be used a few yards away," Vallone told the New York Daily News. "This way we get to keep the parkland and we get Major League Soccer in Queens".
The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the parkland being referred to by Vallone where the planned $300 million soccer stadium will be built to attract an MLS team.
Mets Vice President of Media Relations Jay Horwitz confirmed that the idea is being considered by the team.
"The Mets would be open to discussing the use of Citi Field for a potential MLS team," Horwitz said.
However, MLS spokeswoman Risa Heller rejected the idea of bringing soccer action to the Mets home field.
"An MLS team at Citi Field is a nonstarter for us," Heller said in a statement. "A soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a win for soccer fans, a win for the Queens community and a win for economic development."
Assemblyman Francisco Moya also rejected the plan to use Citi Field as MLS venue but he favors bringing professional soccer to the borough.
According to MLS officials, a new stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park would create 2,100 to 2,300 construction jobs, 160 full-time jobs and 750 part-time positions.
Donovan Finn, an open-space advocate who is against building the stadium in the park, believes that using Citi Field would be the perfect solution.
"This sounds great for Citi Field -- more business, more revenue, less competition," Finn said. "And it doesn't take away much-needed parkland."
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