A letter from Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association:
This quote from The New York Daily News dated November 27, 2012 “Garber
told The Associated Press the league hopes to build a stadium on a
10-acre site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and expects to have an
expansion team play there starting in 2016”.
So we as residents and taxpayers of Queens County are to accept
another land grab from us to a major corporation. 10 acres of Parkland
is about to be stolen from us and we are to accept it?
“MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Monday the league is “at the finish line” in talks with the city to acquire land in soccer-crazed Queens for a stadium to house the league’s 20th team.”
Ok, so as a “soccer crazed Queens resident” I am offended! THE
CITY, is to take taxpayer parkland and “Acquire” the land in order to
hand it over to a for profit corporation? From what I know of “soccer
crazed Queens Residents” we like to go to the park and PLAY soccer on
the weekends. We like to enjoy OUR Parkland for ourselves, our
families, our children. We do not want to pay a minimum of let us say
for arguments sake, $80 – $150, to watch others play. While I am certain
many of us would love to take in a game with the family, and most of us
would do so from time to time. I question the legitimacy of taking
taxpayer land away from the taxpayer and giving it to a for profit
Where is the Queens Borough President on this? Why has she not
spoken out against this? If this were in Manhattan and we were talking
about taking away 10 acres from Central Park in order to build yet
another stadium, what would their Borough President be doing? What would
our Mayor, a Manhattan resident, be doing? Would they be in favor of
such a land grab? I for one doubt it. Aside from our current lame duck
Borough President, where are all the announced candidates that are
coming out of the woodwork for the position? Why haven’t any of them
come forward and denounce this deal? Why are they allowing this deal to
go on? Where is Senator Peralta whose district encompasses the
community most negatively affected by this land grab? As a matter of
fact, Senator Peralta should be out there screaming and yelling. Most
Hispanics, my in-laws, my friends included, from the surrounding Jackson
Heights-Corona community flood the parks during the summer months.
They play soccer, picnic, hold festivals, parties and again PLAY SOCCER,
on the land targeted to be stolen.
Where is Senator Avella on this deal? He was quoted in The
Capital as saying “You can’t just say,’oh, that sounds like a great
idea.” What exactly does he mean by that? Does it mean the deal can go
on but needs to be tweeked? I hope not. Why hasn’t he come out against
this? Is he going to do so as soon he officially declares his candidacy?
On that note, is Councilman Peter Vallone also waiting for his official
announcement before he denounces this theft? After all many Astoria
residents also utilize Flushing meadows park when participating in
Where are Melinda Katz and Leroy Comry on this issue? It is a big issue f
or us Queens voters!
Then we have Barry Grodenchick, who is the “Deputy Queens Borough
President”. Mr. Grodenchick already has “Queens Borough President” in
his title; only thing he wants removed is the Deputy part. My question
is: Why has he remained silent on this Land Grab? As the Deputy to the
Queens Borough President, as well as a declared candidate, shouldn’t he
be speaking out on this? What is his position?
Now please understand, I am not only targeting Democrats. It’s
just that as of right now, no Republican has thrown their hat into the
As a lifelong resident of Queens, I am calling on all the
candidates to make their position public on this issue immediately! I
am calling on the current Borough President to make her position on this
issue public immediately as well!
My position, if you want to know is: This deal is a theft, plain
and simple. The people of Queens are being robbed of 10 acres of park
land. Don’t tell us about the fields you are going to build for us in
the surrounding communities in the future. If you take 10 acres, we
want ten acres, and we want to know exactly where and what we are
getting in return!
Is the MLS going to allow all that currently use the TEN ACRES to
continue using the new stadium during the warm weather months? Will
the taxpayers be able to hold their “pick-up” games on the new fields
within the stadium? If so, will there now be a fee?
Better yet, leave our land alone! Do what every legitimate
business has done in America since its inception: Find a location, make
sure it meets all requirements and codes. Then buy the property and
build your stadium.
America, land of opportunity! Just not on the taxpayers’ backs!