Queensboro FC (QBFC), an expansion club of the United Soccer League (USL), has announced plans for the first soccer-specific stadium to be developed in New York City.
The stadium will be developed as part of a partnership with York College of the City University of New York (CUNY), which will be the site of the venue for QBFC’s inaugural season in the USL Championship, the second tier of US soccer, in 2022.
Following a Request for Proposals launched last year, CUNY awarded QBFC the contract to construct and operate a stadium on the York College campus to support the university’s academic and athletic remit, as well as enhance the college experience for its students, create local jobs, grow neighbourhood businesses, and develop the surrounding area of Jamaica, Queens.
In addition to hosting QBFC, the stadium will also serve as the venue for York College’s commencement, CUNY Athletic Conference tournament games, and other free or ticketed events.
Throughout the duration of the partnership, there will be ongoing exchange between university and club, such as the joint development of class curriculum on topics surrounding health, wellness, and sports education, as well as the integration of QBFC front office, coaches, and players as guest speakers.
With a vision to deliver an innovative and unique fan experience, the 7,500-seat modular stadium will be designed in partnership with Populous. QBFC said special attention has been made to ensure the stadium adheres to the highest standards and best practices of a post-COVID era, with frictionless commerce along with other health, safety, and sanitation protocols. The pitch will be a turf playing surface, which will allow the venue to be a year-round asset for sports, entertainment and community events.
To mark the announcement, QBFC has launched The 1909 Club for its fans, named in honour of the Queensborough Bridge, which opened in 1909 and is an integral part of QBFC’s crest design. To officially kick-off ticket sales for the 2022 season, QBFC is offering a limited-time promotion for the first 1,909 people to place a deposit which grants lifelong membership in the 1909 Club.
Fans can now place a $25 (£18/€21) deposit for the first-rights opportunity to purchase season tickets, up to six seats, and choose their seat location in the new stadium. The deposit will apply as a credit towards the total cost of their season ticket plan.
“The soccer community in Queens is finally getting what they’ve always wanted – their own team and their own stadium,” said Aly Wagner, former US women’s national team star and currently part of the Queensboro FC ownership group.
“We have worked really hard over the past two years to bring QBFC to life, and this stadium represents a huge step forward. It will serve as a physical manifestation, and a leading example, of how to build a modern-day soccer team in an ever-changing world of sports and entertainment.”
In Major League Soccer (MLS), the New York Red Bulls play in Harrison, New Jersey at Red Bull Arena. New York City FC (NYCFC) has been attempting to develop a home of its own since debuting in MLS in 2015.
In February 2020, New York City FC’s plans for its own stadium appeared to be set to move forward after the club revived a proposal for a new 25,000-seat venue in the Bronx. However, this project has failed to progress and the club currently splits its games between Red Bull Arena and Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball franchise the New York Yankees.
“York College is honoured to be the host site for Queensboro FC’s home stadium,” said Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president of York College. “We believe their contributions as a community-led sporting organisation will greatly advance our facilities, our campus experience, and our neighbourhoods. This project will showcase the importance of private and public sectors coming together, and working together, to celebrate diversity and bridge communities.”
Image: Queensboro FC