New York City Football Club (NYCFC) can begin construction of their brand new stadium after plans for an historic redevelopment in Willets Point were approved.
The development, located in Willets Point, Queens, will provide 2,500 new, affordable homes, a new 650-seat public school, 40,000 square feet of new public open space, retail space, and a 250-key hotel.
Importantly for NYCFC, the development also includes a 25,000-seat capacity stadium that will become the first soccer-specific stadium to be built in New York. The club has also confirmed its intention to make their new home fully electric, the first of its kind in New York City and Major League Soccer.
Stadium construction will be privately-financed at an estimated figure of $780 million USD (1.1 billion AUD) and aims to be completed prior to the start of the 2027 MLS season.
The entire Willets Point project is expected to generate $6.1 billion USD (9.2 billion AUD) in economic impact over the next 30 years, creating 1,550 permanent jobs and 14,200 construction jobs.
Its approval signifies further evidence of football clubs making a positive impact in their community. NYCFC Vice-Chairman, Marty Edelman, offered a similar reflection following the decision.
“NYCFC is grateful for this vote of confidence from Community Board 7 to help continue a vision for Willets Point that will unlock thousands of jobs, historic affordable housing, and NYC’s first-ever, union-built soccer stadium,” Edelman said via press release.
“NYCFC committed 10 years ago to build in the five boroughs, and we are thrilled to be closer to bringing this promise to life in Queens – the World’s Borough will be our home for The World’s Game.”
New York City Council member, Francisco Moya, shared Edelman’s delight:
“I’m thrilled about the green light given to the Willets Point Revitalization Plan by Community Board 7. This game-changing project, embracing 100% affordable housing, smart urban planning, and the cutting-edge NYCFC stadium, resonates with our shared goal of nurturing a vibrant and robust community,” he added.
This landmark development is not only expected to deliver significant positive results in social, economic and environmental areas, but set a model for football clubs around the world who endeavour to make a difference in their community.