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Willets Point stadium gets another vote of approval

City Planning Commission gave the soccer stadium a unanimous approval, moving the public review process into its final stages.

New rendering of the Willets Point stadium NYCFC released shortly after this post published |

New York City FC's Willets Point stadium has taken another critical step forward, receiving a unanimous vote of approval from the City Planning Commission.

City Planning Commission had 60 days to review and vote on the Willets Point Phase II redevelopment that includes the soccer stadium as part of ULURP, the city's land use review and approval process.

That process now shifts to the New York City Council, which has a 50-day window to review the project, hold a public hearing, and vote to approve, approve with modifications, or disapprove. The City Council is set to hold its public hearing for Willets Point and the soccer stadium on Tuesday, March 12, so the 50-day timeline could very well accelerate.

The City Planning Commission's 60-day review window opened on January 10 when Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. cast his conditional ULURP vote of approval for the project.

The City Planning Commission represented the first all-or-nothing vote the NYCFC stadium and Willets Point project faced. The Queens BP's vote, as well as the vote of approval from Queens Community Board 7, were purely advisory and could not derail the project, though they still carried huge importance in the ULURP process and for the general forward momentum of things.

Had the vote not gone favorably with the City Planning Commission, all ULURP items would have been defeated, only possibly saved by New York City Mayor Eric Adams's intervention—but that never seemed a possibility throughout their portion of the review.

Members of the commission largely spoke favorably about the Willets Point redevelopment during the public hearings and review sessions spent discussing the project, and that carried over to the unanimous vote of approval.

The lengthy ULURP process is now in its final stages, and final bureaucratic stadium approval is closer than ever. The City Council representative for the stadium site, as you may know, is Francisco Moya, who has been the biggest pro-stadium evangelist in the New York City political scene for a number of years.

Moya wore a blazer with New York City FC's crest to the first Community Board 7 meeting that included discussion of the project and was recently on NY1 with the team's COO, Jennifer O'Sullivan, to continue to stump for the project.

The groundbreaking for “phase one” of Willets Point was held on December 20 and construction there is underway. As the NYCFC stadium ULURP process enters its final max-55-day stretch and approvals keep coming, the potential for a historic soccer groundbreaking looms larger and draws nearer.