Thursday, March 24, 2011

MLS Stadium in Manhattan?

I have been accused of being a little crazy with my "prophecies" on MLS in the past (see my MLS in Tulsa article), this may be another one of those cases. Surfing the web during business hours I stumbled across a fairly boring interview from the National Post (Canada) with MLS Boss Don Garber. Most of the discussion centers around (or centres around) MLS' expansion into Canada and future plans for expansion. I yawned through the entire piece until the last paragraph:

"It’s also about building a stadium in the right location. Toronto’s BMO Field was the first stadium we had that, in essence, proved downtown stadiums really work and can provide fans an opportunity to go from work, or go from a local pub, and walk or take a short subway ride right to the stadium. And that’s been replicated in Seattle and will be replicated again in Portland and New York."

Huh? Wait a second, did the Soccer Don spill the beans on a new stadium in the works in a downtown NYC location? He can't be talking about Red Bull Arena because we all know that is located in the "finest" neighborhood Harrison, NJ has to offer. It is no secret MLS wants team No. 20 to be in NYC, especially if they can get a team in the city as opposed to the suburbs. We have heard plenty of talk about The Wilpons (owners of the Mets and big losers in the Bernie Madolf Lottery) building a soccer-specific stadium out by Citi Field, but come on, we want a stadium in the Manhattan.

I came across this great Op-Ed piece on thisisamericansoccer.com (great blog to follow) from Patrick Shields regarding the use of Pier 40 for a new MLS stadium on the west side of Manhattan. The piece is about a year old, but the level of detail and effort put into the article makes it worthy of a re-read anytime. Well Mr. Shields, I'll see your Pier 40 idea and raise you, why not a floating stadium? Build it stateside or overseas, float it up the Hudson, tie up at Chelsea Piers or some other locale on the west side of Manhattan. Sounds crazy? Well there is already a floating soccer stadium (field at least) as part of the Marina Bay project in Singapore. So why not in NYC? The big cruise ships that come up the Hudson are pushing close to 10,000 people (guests and crew) and they theaters, engines, and 47 buffets. Build it in pieces, ship them in separately, drive some piles into the river to secure them, and you've got a MLS stadium in Manhattan.

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