Willets Point Stadium

Capacity25 000
Country United States of America
CityNew York
ClubsNew York City FC
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$ 780 M
Construction?–2027
Design HOK
Contractor Turner Construction Company

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Willets Point Stadium – design description

Why is a new soccer stadium being planned in New York City?

In 2013, a new football club, New York City FC, was founded as a team to join the MLS, the leading football competition in the United States and Canada. The team started playing in the MLS from the 2015 season, without having its own stadium. However, the new club's ambition was to have its own soccer facility.

The temporary home for the new club became baseball's Yankee Stadium, where the New York Yankees play on a daily basis. Scheduling problems have meant that, from time to time, the players give way to the baseballers and hold games at the replacement stadium.

The club is one of two teams from the New York metropolitan area playing in the MLS, alongside the New York Red Bulls. Meetings between the two squads, although a short tradition, are referred to as a derby (known as the Hudson River Derby). New York City FC describes itself as a club from the New York City area, while the Red Bulls are associated with the western part of the metropolitan area.

In 2021, New York City FC achieved its greatest success, winning the MLS playoffs. In 2022, the team reached the Campeones Cup and reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

What were the early plans for a new stadium for New York City FC?

The original plans called for a new stadium for New York City FC to be built in the Queens borough within Flushing Meadows Park. However, construction in the park was opposed by local residents, there were other problems and the site was eventually abandoned.

Subsequently, a new arena next to Yankee Stadium was considered, then there was news of intentions to build in Belmont Park, next to the horse racing track. In 2018, a concept by Rafael Viñoly Architects was presented, according to which the stadium would be built on the Willis Avenue Bridge. These proposals also failed to materialise.

When were plans to build a new stadium at Willets Point announced?

On November 15, 2022, a conference was held at which New York City Mayor, Eric Adams presented plans for a new stadium for New York City FC. The stadium is to be built in what is known as Willets Point, in the borough of Queens, right next to baseball's Citi Field, where the New York Mets play. The site is not far from Flushing Meadows, where the club planned to build its own stadium right from the start. The initial concept was prepared by S9 Architecture.

In April 2023, it was announced that HOK would be designing the stadium, with Turner Construction Company being selected as the main contractor. In May 2023, new renderings of the future facility were unveiled. More followed in October 2023.

What are the aims of the stadium project at Willets Point?

The area where the development is planned is called Willets Point. Until now, the site was a run-down, known for its numerous garages and car scrap yards. The stadium is to have a soccer-specific layout and will accommodate 25,000 spectators.

In addition to the new stadium, the development also includes the construction of residential buildings with 2,500 affordable units and retail and service areas. Furthermore, there will also be a 250-room hotel and a primary school. New public spaces are also planned and the entire 23-acre site will be comprehensively revitalised.

How will the stadium development at Willets Point be implemented?

The club intends to carry out the entire development with a consortium of Queens Development Group, which includes developers Related Companies and Sterling Equities. The project will be privately funded, although the investors will be exempt from paying property tax and the city will also take on infrastructure improvements around the buildings.

The site is to be leased by the city for 49 years, with an option to extend for a further 25 years. The cost of building the stadium alone is estimated at $780 million. The club is to pay $4m annually for the lease of the land on which the stadium will stand. The entire project still has to go through a number of administrative procedures before going ahead. It is preliminarily estimated that the stadium would be ready in 2027.

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Renderings

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