Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bronx Cheer

As the Daily News is reporting, Bronx activists are cautioning their Queens brethren about buying into the attack on the borough's signature park:

"This cautionary Bronx tale is one to avoid repeating. Bronx activists had some advice on Tuesday for Queens: Keep your precious park land and ignore the stadium sweet talk. Major League Soccer said it’s close to hammering out a deal with the city to build a $300 million stadium on up to 13 acres in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

But the plan is reminiscent of a Yankee Stadium land deal that “shortchanged” the Bronx, local activist Mary Blassingame said. “This is Yankee Stadium all over again,” she said. “They need to fight against it. Parks are for the people ... not for business.”

Put simply, the city can't be trusted-and Mary Blasingame knows this. The concern is that the swap of parkland will be done piecemeal:

"But Queens activists fear this could result in small chunks of scattered green space. “Ten pocket parks an acre each don’t equal 10 acres together,” said Will Sweeney of the Fairness Coalition of Queens, which is concerned about the collective impact of an MLS stadium, a U.S. Tennis Association expansion and a mall plan near Citi Field.

“They’ll promise you the moon when they ask for approval,” Sweeney said. “But the reality ... is much different.”
One critic of stadium deals warns against any suspension of disbelief-and he gets the last word "The Bronx Bombers made similar claims during early negotiations, said Neil DeMause, co-author of “Field of Schemes,” a book on modern stadium deals.