New renderings of New York City FC’s planned Willets Point stadium have arrived. The club shared a handful of new images of what will be New York City’s first-ever soccer stadium, releasing them during halftime of the team’s US Open Cup match at FC Cincinnati. That timing of release might seem odd at first, but it directly coincides with the renderings being presented to Queens Community Board 7, the community board that covers the community in which NYCFC’s stadium is expected to rise.
The renderings arrive not long after NYCFC announced its selection of architecture firm HOK to design the new $780 million Queens stadium. NYCFC and its New York City real estate and political partners are currently going through the lengthy, multi-step Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process for the massive planned redevelopment of Willets Point, which along with NYCFC’s stadium will include 2,500 units of affordable housing, an elementary school, retail shops, and a bunch of new open public space.
The stadium remains scheduled to open in time for the 2027 MLS season, with the ULURP review process expected to ramp up this fall and potentially be completed by spring of 2024. Community board meetings are one part of the land use review process, and these renderings are likely only an early glimpse, meaning we can expect more and more to emerge as the process goes on.
This still represents another pinch-me moment for NYCFC supporters who have waited near a decade for actual concrete stadium plans to come to fruition. It’s now much easier to imagine yourself in the future “Sponsor Stadium” Stadium (a very capitalistic change from the Stadium Name placeholder used back in November). The full scope of the Phase 2 Willets Point redevelopment also comes into greater clarity with that wide aerial rendering, with the side-by-side baseball-soccer stadiums blanketed by the new housing-and-retail complexes. A far cry from the large swaths of empty space and parking lots currently surrounding Citi Field, with even further development of those parking lots still possible, if Steve Cohen gets his way.
It’s also worth noting that NYCFC this week reportedly met with representatives from supporters groups The Third Rail and Los Templados to discuss what supporters would like to see incorporated into stadium design. That meeting comes not long after the club also surveyed its season ticket holders about the stadium plans, a survey that largely focused on ticket pricing and amenities (and also a hypothetical women’s team).