The U.S. Tennis Association said Tuesday that it would give 1.56 acres to the city’s Parks Department as part of its $500 million expansion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. But some local park advocates told the Daily News that the deal was a “sham.” “We have gained nothing,” Donovan Finn, a member of the Fairness Coalition for Queens, told the Daily News. “The USTA gets to pretend they are doing a great service to the community — when, in fact, it’s just a bunch of bureaucratic maneuvering.”
The local residents argue that the parkland is already publicly accessible and that the Tennis Association, which is seeking 0.68 acres for its stadium expansion, isn’t giving the community a net benefit. Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates, called the swap “a sham” and said that “nothing’s changed.” However, Queens borough president Helen Marshall has supported the plan. The issue will be decided at a City Planning hearing on May 22. It will then need City Council approval to happen.