07 November 2009

Willets Point: By Air, Land or Sea… No, really!

If you have read all the stories on this blog you are probably saying to yourself ‘Wow, they are fixated on Willets Point!’ You are right. And here is why it would make the ideal location for the World’s Game!

If there is going to be a second MLS team in the area, and the first in New York City proper, then the key element to any stadium has to be location. Obviously you want to put the team within the city limits to give it that true New York City stature, but there are far more important elements than just that and Willets Point tackles all those elements.


For starters, Willets Point is in Queens, the most diverse county in the country. The beauty of New York City is that you can find just about every culture in the world in one city, and a lot of those cultures can be found in Queens. With a large Greek population in Astoria; Irish in Woodside; Polish in Maspeth; Latino community in Jackson Heights; Russian in Rego Park… you get the point! Queens is not only filled with people from all around the globe but from soccer-loving countries. It only makes sense to deliver the World’s Game and put it in such a diverse place!


Not all of the nine million people in New York City have cars, and thank goodness for that. (Could you imagine the traffic?) That said, you want to make sure that the soccer fans can GET to the location on weekends and on weeknights (because this team will have Champions League dates). There really is only one way to get around New York City: SUBWAY! Willets Point lies right on the 7 train line, the same line that helps bring over three million fans out to see the New York Mets play; the same line that is also dubbed “The International Express.” Ok, Ok, I am overdoing it, but I cannot stress enough how perfect this location is.

So you’re saying, ‘Great - if you are coming from Manhattan you can get there, but what about the large soccer-loving community on Long Island?’ Well, my friends, there is also a Long Island Rail Road station right there to assist those fans get to the match as well!


For those with cars in New York City, you can easily find your way to the grounds as Willets Point is right off the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway. It is not far from the Long Island Expressway as well. So getting to the stadium via car is not an issue, and it can be easily accessible by Long Island, Queens and even the Bronx as you can just jump on the Robert F. Kennedy (Triboro) Bridge.

That covers many ways to get to this location, and while the title of this post is a joke, it really makes sense! Willets Point is also right on the East River which means you can supply Ferry Service to the East River Marina for the matches.

Air - yeah that part is fabrication - but just think: LaGuardia airport is nearby!

LOCATION is Key to putting a successful soccer team in New York City! You need to have the team located centrally and it must be accessible for fans! Willets Point is all of that and then some and if redeveloped right, there can be a team and a community around that team, just like some of your favorite teams overseas.

Aqueduct does have access via major highways and has connection to a nearby subway but the ride from Midtown Manhattan to Aqueduct on that line is over an hour, where from Grand Central to Willets Point can be as short as 15 minutes if you hit one of those rush hour express trains!

So if Major League Soccer gets its dream of a second New York City team, Willets Point SHOULD BE the home as it really would give that team the best chance of success!

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