Commissioner Don Garber admitted Wednesday night that if Major League Soccer could not get approval for its proposed stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park by New York City or the state, the league would look at another city.
"If we're not able to be successful, sure, we'll throw our hands up and say it's time for shifting emphasis," Garber said during a Manhattan newss conference. "We're hoping to be able to get something finalized this year."
MLS wants to add an expansion team by 2016, although it faces resistance by citizens who claim the stadium would harm the park. The $350 million project includes a 25,000-seat stadium, new recreational soccer fields adjacent to the stadium and finding 10 acres in the city to replace the land on which the stadium will be built.
"With the thousands of jobs and economic value that we're going to provide the city and its tax base and the local community, we are entitled to have some public support," Garber said. "We get that's not going to happen."
Garber said the stadium was "the biggest challenge we ever faced."
"This is an incredibly valuable market and one that is very constrained in terms of real estate opportunities that are available," he said. "But if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So it's really worth the effort."