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NYC's First Soccer Stadium To Be Built In Queens

A rendering of Queensboro FC's soccer-specific stadium at York College

New York City’s first professional soccer-specific stadium is heading to Queens. 

York College of the City University of New York will team up with architecture firm Populous to develop a 7,500-seat stadium on the school's campus in Jamaica, which will be home to the Queens-based men’s soccer team Queensboro FC, the United Soccer League announced Tuesday

“Soccer is the world’s sport, and Queens is the world’s borough,” USL Chief Operating Officer and Chief Real Estate Officer Justin Papadakis said in USL’s announcement. “Bringing Queens a first-class professional club to call their own is a historical moment.” 

The team — part of USL, a Division II professional soccer league — will play its first season in 2022, according to its website.

Populous has led the design of soccer-specific stadiums such as Wembley Stadium in England and Audi Field in Washington, D.C. It has also helmed the architecture of stadiums for 14 Olympic Games, according to its website. 

Major League Soccer team New York City Football Club, which currently plays at Yankee Stadium, has tried several times to establish a soccer-specific field in Queens, Manhattan and most recently in the Bronx near the famous ballpark. 

Madd Equities and Joy Construction set out in 2018 to get approval to build a soccer-specific stadium for the team at East 153rd Street and River Avenue. 

In early 2020, the stadium seemed to be on the path to construction. At the time, the developers teamed together to negotiate a deal with the city to develop a $1B, 26,000-seat stadium, The New York Times reported. Construction was expected to begin in 2022 and be complete around 2024. But last December, plans were paused because of issues with a neighboring parking lot owner.

For now, Queens will be the only borough home to a soccer-specific stadium. Major professional sports stadiums — such as the New York Mets' home at Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — are also located in Queens.

“Queens is the home for sports,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said in the release. “We are proud to add soccer to the mix.”