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Flushing Meadows–Corona Park

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, often referred to as Flushing Meadows Park, or simply Flushing Meadows, is a public park in New York City. Located in northern Queens, it contains the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the current venue for the US Open tennis tournament; Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team; the New York Hall of Science; the Queens Museum of Art; the Queens Theatre in the Park; the Queens Zoo; and the New York State Pavilion. It formerly contained Shea Stadium, demolished in 2009.

Near the northern end of the park, adjacent to Willets Point is the "Sport Center" zone. The US Open tennis tournament is held in this sector. In 2006, the tennis center was named USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after professional tennis player Billie Jean King. Its center court is Arthur Ashe Stadium, and its secondary stadium court is Louis Armstrong Stadium. Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets since 2009, sits at the far north end of the park. Shea Stadium, the Mets' previous home and prior host to the New York Jets football team, once stood adjacent to the area now hosting Citi Field.

In addition to the existing stadiums, several other sports venues have been proposed for the park. In the 1950s, Flushing Meadows was one of several proposed sites for the relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers, until the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. A racing circuit to host a Formula One grand prix event was proposed for New York City, with one of the potential circuits to be built around Meadow Lake, first for the 1975 season, and later for the 1983 season. The plans were opposed by the local community and environmental groups, and the race was postponed and ultimately cancelled by 1985. One of the alternate sites, the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, would host the Meadowlands Grand Prix Champ Car event in 1984. Also in the 1980s, the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL) proposed to relocate to the park, with a new stadium to be built in Willets Point adjacent to Shea Stadium. The plans dissolved when the USFL folded in 1985. Shortly afterwards, the New York Jets rejected a plan to take over the proposed stadium. In the 2010s, a Major League Soccer stadium was proposed in the park after MLS founded New York City FC, the New York area's second soccer team. After examining several sites in the New York area, New York City FC finally decided on building its proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park by 2016, deeming the park as the only viable location for a stadium. The stadium, which would have been located on the site of the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets, was heavily opposed by the community, which forced the team to change its plans and play at Yankee Stadium for an unspecified amount of time.

Rental boats are available for rowing and paddleboating on the park's Meadow Lake. Meadow Lake is the site of rowing activities for non-profit Row New York, with teams practicing on the lake for much of the year. Meadow Lake also hosts the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York, and teams from New York practice in Meadow Lake during the summer months. The American Small Craft Association (TASCA) also houses a fleet of over a dozen 14.5-foot (4.4 m) sloop-rigged sailboats, used for teaching, racing, and recreation by the club's members. Bicycling paths extend around Meadow Lake and connect to the Brooklyn–Queens Greenway. Paths around Willow Lake, the smaller and higher of the two lakes, are currently closed to the public. The many recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the wide ethnic mix of Queens; soccer and cricket are especially popular.

Some World's Fair buildings continued to be in use after the 1964 Fair. The Flushing Meadows Carousel, opened as part of the 1964 Fair, operates in the northwestern part of the park. The New York Hall of Science, founded during the 1964 World's Fair, was one of the country's first science museums and still operates in its original location at the park's northern corner. The New York State Pavilion, constructed as the state's exhibit hall for the same World's Fair, is also a feature of the park. However, no new use for the building was found after the Fair, and the structure sits derelict and decaying, although it was repainted yellow in 2015. Next to the New York State Pavilion is the Queens Theatre in the Park. originally the 1964 Fair's "Theaterama" attraction, which moved into its current building in 1993. Terrace on the Park, a banquet and catering facility, was originally the 1964 World's Fair's official helipad. The Queens Museum, housed in the former headquarters of the United Nations General Assembly, was adapted as the 1964 Fair's New York City Pavilion building. After the fair, it was subdivided into the Queens Center for Art and an ice-skating rink, the latter of which was removed when the museum was expanded in 2013.

New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service both serve this park's northern end. The IRT Flushing Line subway station at Mets–Willets Point serves the 7 and <7>​ trains, and the LIRR station of the same name serves the Port Washington Branch. These stations are located at the northern end of the park adjacent to the Corona Yard and bus depot, primarily serving Citi Field and the USTA. The 111th Street subway station is located just outside the park grounds, serving the Hall of Science. The Q48, Q58, Q64 and Q88 buses all travel through the park, but only the Q48 stops within the park perimeter, serving Citi Field and the USTA. The Q58 and Q88 stop outside either side of the park and cross the park via the Horace Harding Expressway, while the Q64 crosses the park along Jewel Avenue/69th Road.

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