Sensible Concerts at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
Mar 13, 2013 | 14584 views | 2 2 comments | 522 522 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The type of music events at the 15,000-seat Forest Hills tennis stadium might just be the key to the solution for both sides of the debate on holding concerts again at the West Side Tennis Club.

It’s common knowledge that The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra graced the stage there in its heyday, but the complaints from neighbors in the 1990s were valid and led to the demise of concerts there.

There were reportedly only a half-dozen concerts in the decade of the 1990s, but as they turned into events that attracted unruly crowds and lasted the entire day, it became a blight on the neighborhood and needed to be stopped.

In 1998, after a day-long reggae music festival labeled Cari-fest, hundreds of parking violations, traffic jams and reports of festival goers smoking dope on Forest Hills streets sealed the fate of concerts at the stadium forever.

The club is quite the oasis in Queens. The serene setting needs to be preserved, not just for club members but also for Queens itself. But it costs plenty to keep the 14-acre club up and running.

Developers will always be willing to purchase all or part of the land, but that would mean more housing, parking and traffic on a permanent basis.

The income derived from hosting a half-dozen yearly concerts, which would attract a crowd of desirable patrons for a normal, four-hour event might even add to the cache of living in Forest Hills and might finally put an end to the idea of selling the land.

After speaking with civic leaders and local elected officials this week, the genre of music and length of the concert might be the only sticking points for a reasonable plan to use the stadium for concerts. As the new president of the club seems to understand the fragile nature of these concerts, we think they should be allowed to go ahead with plans to host shows.

Folklore and published reports say that the cost of making the stadium suitable for events will be somewhere north of $10 million.

Not true. The sound tests have been done; the structure seems to be fine.

The facelift and access-improvements necessary would cost less than $2.5 million.

The work is not as much structural as it is bringing it up to code and sealing the concrete.

The club should be inclined to lower the number of available seats from 14,000 to 10,000, not allow vehicle traffic within two blocks of the entrance to the stadium, and resist the idea of holding daylong music festivals.

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April 02, 2013
How about the Metropolitan Opera and/or the New York Philharmonic summer concerts?
April 02, 2013
Yeah let's really gutter the neighborhood even more than it is now. Let's have lil wayne and beyonce perform there, the area will be flooded with litter and weed and outsiders. Let's not and say we did. How about using it for sports related venues or something with a softer crowd.