Brooklyn hoping to trump Queens as next MLS expansion home

MLS may be fixated on putting its next expansion club in Queens, but there is at least one man in New York City who would prefer to see it be in Brooklyn instead.

Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz has come out and publicly said he hopes MLS drops its plans to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Park, as he believes Brooklyn would be better suited to house a professional soccer club in New York.  Markowitz also claimed that there are more soccer-starved fans in Brooklyn than in Queens.

Markowitz suggested East New York or Brownsville as potential locations for a stadium, saying that both struggling neighborhoods could use the economic boost that would come from having an MLS team and they have empty land and good transportation access. Other locations he mentioned were East Williamsburg and Bushwick.

MLS has since reaffirmed its plans for Queens to be the home of the 20th club in the league.

What do you think of Markowitz wanting the club to be in Brooklyn? Prefer the Queens location? Think it is a good back-up plan for MLS should Queens not work out?

Share your thoughts below.

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76 Responses to Brooklyn hoping to trump Queens as next MLS expansion home

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    This would be sooo much cooler. It would also catch the rising tide of Brooklyn sentiment.

    But I’d say it has almost no chance of happening

    • Josh D says:

      I don’t see how you can walk through Queens on a weekend and not think it has a bigger soccer loving population. There are thousands of people playing pick up games and families picnicking all day, watching games and enjoying the atmosphere.

      Brooklyn might be seen as more sophisticated or having more prestige, but Queens is the hotbed.

      However, nothing is better for MLS than two competing boroughs. Drive those costs down!

      • downintexas says:

        Heck if you only have 25-28K stadium why not have 3 NY teams. (How many teams are located in London?)

        • Andy says:

          Not sure if you’re serious, but if so, London has the football fanbase to support that many teams though while NY does not.

          • Bobb says:

            MLS teams do not need the same fanbase and revenue as teams in London. How does NYRB’s budget compare to Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham, QPR, etc.?

          • Charles says:

            Three teams would be a salary cap of $9 million or one player on Chelsea.

          • dan says:

            NY can have that too one day.

            I bet there will be 3 teams eventually in NY but it might a long time from now

            • Tim M. says:

              Their are plenty of high quality, thriving football clubs at the league level in London, whose financial situations would be comparable to the budgets of these hypothetical NY teams. Millwall, Crystal Palace, Brentford and Charlton to name a few.

    • G Funk says:

      Call them the Brooklyn Nets. Give them a black & white retro logo. I’m full of good ideas!

  2. Hmmmm says:

    They can always try and lure the Red Bulls.

  3. Don Dallas says:

    Not sure of the viability but there are HUGE tracks of land (Monty Pything and the Holy Grail voice) around the rail yards of Coney Island/Stillwell Ave.

    The march from the boardwalk to the stadium would be epic and the celebratory dip in the ocean afterwards would be without peer.

    • Don Dallas says:

      And since we’re comfortable building decks over rail yards (Hudson and Atlantic yards), the huge gap tooth created by the rail yards in “Queens West” (aka Long Island City) could be closed with one, creating ample space for residential, commercial, office, AND a SSS: Queensbridge Stadium.

      One of the objectives of the City is to grow the population beyond 8mm (an unsustainable number), where it has been stuck for decades. To do that, new areas for residential development must be created. This would serve that objective.

    • sefone says:

      Do you mean with out pier?

      On a more serious note. The same thing that the earlier poster was saying about queens is true about brooklyn.

      Walk through Prospect Park any day of the week and you see a number of pick up games, as well as just all over the borough in general. Would love to see this happen.

    • baropbop says:

      A team in the Cony Island area would do really well. But, I’m assuming the property is just to damn high

  4. Iggy says:

    this guy is late to the party

  5. Sean says:

    Living in NY and Brooklyn since 2004, I can’t say which borough has more fans. Having lived in Brooklyn most of that time, I’ve always thought Brooklyn would be a great place for a stadium, but where? East New York? Doesn’t it have one of the highest crime rates in all the five boroughs? If you could put it around Bay Ridge or Altantic Ave, I would say yes.

    I plan on moving to Queens next year so a Queens stadium is appealing. But the subway line that connects to the stadium is too modest to accommodate games. Not to mention it doesn’t connect easily for a vast majority of Queens residents in Astoria.

    • fischy says:

      Too modest to accomodate games? How do the Mets manage? Given that no one goes to the Mets games any more, but they used to…

    • Sly says:

      The 7 train is fine as the Mets, The US Open, Concerts, and the sold out games theyve had there can attest.

      When Greece played Ecuador Astoria was wel represented, the 20 min trip from Astoria to City Field was buzzing right along.

  6. Sean says:

    Don, I fear beer-induced drunken dips in the ocean would result in multiple deaths.

    • Don Dallas says:

      My guess is fatality numbers will be higher among 300+lbs. men and women sunning themselves in 98 degree heat, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and eating funnel cakes.

      Given the already high consumption levels of beer and various controlled substances in Coney Island hasn’t created a panic, I’m sure the football community will blend in fine.

      …as unrealistic and improbable as my idea is.

  7. Fred says:

    Right, let’s just abandon sparkling RBA. I live in Brooklyn and I would love it here, but let us be serious and take this with a grain of salt. Marty Berkowitz is a bit of a blowhard.

  8. RK says:

    But Garber is from Queens, and this is his pet project…

  9. Fred says:

    But I do live in Bushwick so fuck yea bring it to my neighborhood. Supporter from day -500

  10. Big O says:

    More starved? In Brooklyn? I highly doubt it I live in Corona which is a literal 5 minute walk to Flushing and these Hispanic kids over here absolutely flood the park playing soccer not to mention the soccer playing Asian community over here. Brooklyn isnt mad for soccer like East Queens. Not to mention Long Island is the best soccer area in NY and a MLS team in Queens will see a mass of LI support.

    • Weaksauce says:

      It doesnt mean these “hispanics” will buy a ticket.

      By the way if you add too many hispanics to the fan base, you alienate other people.

      You always wonder why there are more mexicans at a US vs mexico soccer game?

      US fans dont want to be around mexicans

      • H-town Fan says:

        This is a joke right? Dynamo games are well attended and very much mixed.

        • baropbop says:

          Average ticket price is something I bring up a lot and I think it is a major factor in planning. It’s tough to talk about, but demographics are a major factor in ticket sales. Teams make money by filling boxes and selling vip packages. You don’t build a franchise by selling general admission tickets…and you don’t sell to soccer moms and celebrities when you cater to the rowdies. It’s a delicate balance.

    • Scott A says:

      “Not to mention Long Island is the best soccer area in NY”


      Take a few minutes and compare LI soccer products to SoCal or North Jersey soccer products.

  11. Dan M says:

    I think Garber needs to try to take the 7 train to a Mets game from Brooklyn, you know the borough with the largest population, and see how much fun it would be to ride the train for an hour to get to a match. There is plenty of unused space in Brooklyn close to many transit lines.

  12. Dainja says:


    Whoa, whoa, whoa. EAST NEW YORK??

    This dude has lost his damn mind. I’m BK till I die, been in Bed Stuy for years now and hell, I don’t even go to Brownsville unless its to hang with M.O.P! (ok, i made that up) But for real, East New York/Brownsville makes Bed Stuy look like a walk in the park. For real, for real! I’m so proud of BK having a sports team now with the Nets, but that jernt is near downtown.

    Only way i see this working is if Sean Price or Lil Fame leads the supporters march to the stadium. “BROWNSVILLE, HOME OF THE BRAVE!” – M.O.P.

  13. Bobb says:

    Put a third New York area team in Brooklyn. I’m being completely serious here. Hell put a fourth team if you can find a spot in Manhattan (most likely over tracks or over the river). The New York market can handle it. This applies to the greater LA area as well, there is enough space in that market for 4-5 MLS teams. An MLS team only needs a few million dollars a year to be successful, there is more than enough money and population to support multiple teams, and the more there are, the more local interest it would generate through rivalries. This will eventually become obvious when NY2 gets their stadium or when ChivasUSA moves out of HDC and rebrands to something that people would not be embarrassed to support.

    • Gnarls says:

      I don’t know if the evidence supports your assertions. This isn’t Greater London. Soccer is on the up and up with casual fans here, but I don’t know if there’s enough support to spontaneously make three or four new teams successful or even sustainable – in NYC or LA.

      • tw says:

        Exactly. Keep in mind that the Brooklyn Nets just moved to the city and appear poised to capture the hearts, minds, and money of many of the residents. The Islanders are also moving to Brooklyn soon, so there’s quite a bit of competition for sports dollars in the city.

      • Bobb says:

        Those 6-10 teams in London need to generate FAR more money per year than MLS teams to operate. Seriously, entire MLS rosters not counting DPs make as much money as a decent middle relief pitcher. NY and LA could support half a dozen each if they had nice stadiums that were spaced apart to attract fans from different areas.

  14. Tim P says:

    OOH! OOH! OOH! How about the “Brooklyn Sweathogs”?

  15. ec says:

    MLS needs to hold out for the right spot in NYC, if it’s Queens, Bklyn, whatever. Just make sure that it is easy to get to by public transportation and has a nice neighborhood around for some bar/restaurant action. I think it’s a smash hit if it’s in a spot that people want to go to, and would have mediocre support like RBNY if not. Go urban!

  16. AzTeXan says:

    Seattle hipsters are quaking in their boots.

  17. Eugene says:

    I think MLS could do another team in Brooklyn. How many teams does London have?

  18. ed - houston says:

    Brooklyn must have a big head now since they are big time with an NBA team and all. nice try but queens has you beat.

  19. slowleftarm says:

    Too bad all of these thousands of soccer fans in both boroughs who love soccer so much can’t be bothered to get on a train and come to RBA to watch an MLS team that actually exists and plays matches in real life.

    • broadsthooligans says:

      Red Bull Arena from any of the outer boroughs isn’t exactly an easy trip, and I’m sure both boroughs represent pretty well there despite that.

  20. Kevin says:

    I don’t live in NYC nor do I plan to ever attend a game there but I love the idea of a stronger MLS with a NY it (or two). So from a complete neutral point of view, adding Brooklyn into the conversation is a good thing. The more competition the better.

    • Sly says:

      Long Island would be a better fit. Cheaper Stadium, more soccer local organizations, wealthier demograpphic, if it just wasnt so far and difficult to get to by public transportation would be a no brainer.

      • atd says:

        This is why Queens is so good (in my opinion) — you can get there from Manhattan by public transit without much difficulty, and you can get there from Nassau County by car pretty easily, plus it’s got the local immigrant crowd, too.

        • Scott A says:

          Queens would be fine, but just because Metro/RBNY came first, let’s not dismiss their local soccer-loving immigrant population. North Jersey is tops for soccer in any of the NYC areas. If something had been put in Queens first, we’d be talking about North Jersey now.

  21. Andrew says:

    Instead of giving Brooklyn an expansion team, here’s how I think it will play out: the Red Bulls languish a few decades in New Jersey in front of sparse crowds until their stadium becomes obsolete (or underwater). Then a foreign billionaire buys the Red Bulls, moves them to Brooklyn and rebrands them with the help of an entertainment mogul.

  22. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Meanwhile, the Southeast doesn’t have a single team…

    • T-lover says:

      Miami Had a team, back in day in MLS, however they failed. I think MLS remembers, and is careful of the southeast market.

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        Miami, for all intents and purposes is not a Southeastern city. Florida, in general, is very different from the rest of the Southeast.

        Despite periods of great success, nearly every Florida professional sports team has struggled to draw consistent attendance. Even the Heat can’t fill their arena!

        I’m not talking about Florida. I’m talking about cities like Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh. Any one of those cities quickly would produce a rabid fan base.

      • baropbop says:

        Miami and Tampa both had teams. With the disaster taking place with the Marlins, I don’t see a team in South Florida for a very long time. Orlando if anything.

  23. Benedict Arnold says:

    A game in Williamsburg would be like a game in Portland. At least in terms of supporters with scraggly beards.

  24. Mountebank says:

    An MLS team in Brooklyn. What’s next a team Fort Apache The Bronx?

  25. Hogatroge says:

    Wah Wah Wah. So much whining around here from New Yorkers.

    NYC is huge, and no matter where you put the stadium (considering only realistic locations), somebody is going to have a long trip.

    It’s the price you pay for living in a huge, albeit awesome, city where you rely primarily on public transportation.

    Stop complaining, support the team, grow the league in the US, and maybe one day your borough or neighborhood gets its own team, too!

  26. Lazio Curva Sud says:

    I’ve lived in Brooklyn for five years and I would rather spend an hour on the 7 train to Queens than venture into Brownsville or East New York. When I take the LIRR, I always make careful note of my surroundings at the East New York stop, as I know very well that it would be the place to suffer some “random” assault or robbery. And parking out there? Fohgeddabouddit.

  27. Mug says:

    For those of you in other parts of the country that are not familiar with Brooklyn, East Williamsburg is a fancy name for Bushwick.

    • kevdflb says:

      It really isn’t.

      But lots of realtors were saying “east williamsburg” when referring to “bushwick” a few short years ago.
      The East Williamburg Industrial Park has been there since long before artists ever found the L Train.
      And now the cool factor has moved further east, so realtors call what actually IS east williamsburg “bushwick” because bushwick has a artistic cache, now.

      Oh, soccer stadiums.

      Brooklyn is better for me, but anything that location that doesn’t steal precious park space and is near a subway is good! Both borroughs have enormous bases of soccer fans, both immigrants, and those born in the ‘burbs who grew up with the sport, and picked it up again in adult coed leagues that are bursting at the seams in NYC.

  28. kevdflb says:

    Actually Markowitz, while being a complete and total putz is correct that East NY would be a good location. There is a good deal of industrial land near subway lines around Broadway Junction and the LIRR stop.

    There is a lot more further from the trains, but being close to a few subway lines is the difference between success and failure in NYC.