Major League Soccer wants to build a 25,000-seat stadium at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. It's a compelling idea. Once home to world's fairs in 1939 and 1964, the park has plainly seen better days. Lawns are fraying, athletic equipment is rusting. And it's hard to imagine a more soccer-friendly venue anywhere in the country than next to the packed immigrant neighborhoods of northern Queens.
(Source: Newsday | Editorial: Soccer stadium in Queens could work, but advance carefully)
One of my first soccer experiences was at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. Some guy had the crazy idea of starting a soccer group, and our first pickup game was in Queens. I remember having to take the 7 train out to Shea Stadium, walk to the park, and find this guy.
Three of us showed up that day but the next weekend, we found a few other groups that we joined and played hours of soccer. Dirt fields, lumps in the ground - it didn't stop these guys and gals from getting a game in.
I've been out there a few times since, and it's still the bustling scene of soccer players - from young kids with shin-guards up to their knees to older folks looking to get some exercise and a little social camaraderie (ie, trash talking).
I've been out to the Red Bull stadium and it's great. Really nice. I can only imagine that kind of stadium in the middle of a soccer-starved region.
Oh, that three-person soccer meetup? It's turned into the best / most popular soccer meetup in all of New York.