As has been rumored for weeks, New York Mayor Eric Adams and the incredibly wealthy Abu Dhabi who own NYC F.C. announced that they had reached an agreement on a new football stadium in the Willets Points section of Queens, near the Mets stadium that no one wants to use the company’s name for. (The official announcement is coming today – UPDATE: 11:30 a.m., streaming here – but apparently the city and the team gave an exclusive to The New York Times.) The cost: $780 million, which doesn’t not include the price of a 250-room hotel and 2,500 affordable housing units that would come with it.
As for who will pay, city and team officials said construction costs would be covered by the team owners. City officials, according to The New York Times, “said that funding for this project is largely limited to on-site infrastructure improvements and property tax relief for the stadium.”
So it could mean a lot of things. “Infrastructure” has been interpreted in other towns to mean everything from running water and sewer lines to a stadium (things Willets Point doesn’t have) to building transportation and protecting against sea level rise for a whole new neighborhood. As for property tax breaks, exempting a $780 million stadium from property taxes should be worth at least a hundred million there; if it extends to hotel and accommodation as well, that could be quite a hefty sum for football owners.
For now, at least, the project announcement seems to put a stop to two things: NYC FC’s mad plan to build a stadium atop a freeway ramp in the Bronx, and the USL team in grass Queensboro F.C.to build his own football stadium at Willets Point. In fact, it looks like Queensboro FC have been terminated on their own: in a preview message for the stadium announcement on Monday, Front Row Soccer said that “according to sources the club is defunct and will not compete not in the USL championship.” That would explain why several people have reported to me that the Queensboro FC stadium that was to be built at York College hasn’t even started construction yet.
More details today after the official announcement, maybe, if Mayor Adams leaks something more or if reporters ask probing questions, which isn’t a big gamble, but hope is eternal …