According to the USTA, the rationale behind the proposed expansion (land grab) is that it is necessary because it would allow the USTA to pay top players more money in order to prevent them from going to up-and-coming foreign venues/tournaments like Dubai, the United Arab Emirates state located in the Persian Gulf. The USTA has repeatedly said the extra money generated would help ensure the U.S. Open would not lose the marquee players to other markets that could be more lucrative.
While this may be important to this private business - which is being allowed to run on public parkland - it is NOT of importance to those who use the park.
• When the USTA was allowed to double its parkland holdings in the 1990's, they said they would NOT seek any more incursions into the park.
The current USTA plan would:
• Bring an additional 10,000 daily spectators
• Remove more than 400 trees
• Demolish existing stadiums and build a replacement them with 15,000 and 8,000-seat stadiums
• Construct two new garages including a 423-space, 2-level garage, and a 270-space, 3-level garage
• The outdoor tennis courts which the pay-to-play USTA charges up to $32 an hour to use as compared to the City which charges $200 for an entire seven month season and outdoor courts are free for the remaining 5 months of the year including the courts nearby in the Flushing Meadows Park. Free.
The USTA made $ 275 million last year according from the public park land according to USTA Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zausner while giving just $ 2.5 million back to the city according to their license agreement.
• The USTA prohibits Soccer from being played in the park when the US Open is underway.
• There are already so many cars coming to the park during the US Open that patrons of CitiField and the Open are forced to park on the grass.
There are two other commercial projects currently proposed for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, including a 1.4 million sq. ft mall and a new stadium for Major League Soccer. Together, these projects will alienate 56 acres of parkland.