New York City FC stadium across from Citi Field gains initial approval. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: NewsdayTV; NYCFC

The New York City Planning Commission unanimously approved plans Wednesday to build a new soccer stadium at Willets Point for New York City FC.

NYCFC has unveiled plans and renderings to privately fund a $780-million, 25,000-seat stadium for the soccer team across from Citi Field. The private venture includes a 250-room hotel.

Long Island fans will also have a shorter commute to watch the team, which currently plays at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Once approved by the New York City Council and Mayor Eric Adams, the stadium is expected to open in 2027.

“NYCFC committed 10 years ago to build our stadium in the five boroughs, and today's vote gets us one step closer to bringing this promise to life in Queens — the World’s Borough will be our home for The World’s Game,” New York City Football Club vice chairman Marty Edelman said in a statement.

The team also revealed new renderings Wednesday of the stadium project including an immersive seven-story tall entrance, fully lined with more than 11,000 square feet of LED screens, known as “The Cube.”

Fans will be able to enter the southern end of the stadium from trains stopping at Willets Point.

It is the second phase of the project. Developers and the New York City Economic Development Corporation will add 1,400 units of 100% affordable housing, local retail space and nearly 3 acres on the 2 million-square-foot mixed use development.

“This project is a game changer for Queens, and for the entire city,” said Dan Garodnick, chair of the City Planning Commission and director of the Department of City Planning. “We are one step closer to providing Queens with thousands of income-restricted homes, good-paying jobs, open space, a new soccer stadium and billions in economic activity. It’s a perfect example of great planning delivering great results.”

The developers of the project are part of a joint venture by NYCFC and the Queens Development Group, made up of developers Related Companies and the Jeff Wilpon-backed Sterling Enterprises. It also includes about $200 million in public funding to add infrastructure and sewers as part of 2,500 planned affordable homes in the Queens neighborhood.

Officials broke ground on the first phase of the project in December, including 880 apartments set to be built by the end of 2026, and 220 affordable units planned for low-income seniors. The overall project will include a 650-seat public school.

The soccer stadium is scheduled for an environmental impact public hearing by April 26 and a city council and mayoral review, according to the city.

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