MLS Underestimates Queens
Dec 12, 2012 | 8111 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Major League Soccer (MLS) is coming to Queens. Some might not like it, but just as the Nets came to Brooklyn and gaming has come to Aqueduct, soccer is coming to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Just “how” it is coming, and how much of an impact it will have on the Queens community, though, is still up in the air. So MLS hosted a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Queens Theater in the Park to present its plan to build the new soccer stadium.

Unfortunately, they insulted the intelligence of residents here by giving seating preferences and attendance to people who are pro-soccer.

“Do they think we are stupid?” said one man who thinks the stadium should not be as big, “I want more information and I am not even allowed near the stage. I was in a separate room. They should have had this in a bigger place. Or did they do this on purpose?”

The problems for MLS are now obvious. People don’t trust them. Say what you may about Atlas Mall, The Barclays Center, National Tennis Center and Resorts World, they at least let community sound off. They had to take their beatings and listen.

You can try to drown out the concerns of Queens residents and activists, but if you try to shut them out, then MLS is mistaken about how to handle this. Ask any developer and they will tell you that you must let the people protest. You must at least appear to listen. In the case of Resorts World, they actually did and are giving back to non-profits all over the borough.

A Major League Soccer presence in Queens would be a really nice addition to the economy and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. We hope they didn’t blow it by how they handled the public relations part of their plans.

Hold another town hall meeting. Let everyone in and let the residents protest. And listen! You might make some advocates out of naysayers.

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