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Report: NYCFC to play three seasons at Yankee Stadium
by Paul Kennedy, April 14th, 2014 10:11PM

TAGS:  mls, new york city fc, soccer business


[MLS SPOTLIGHT] New York City FC will debut next season at Yankee Stadium -- no surprise -- but it will be forced to play at the baseball stadium for three seasons, the New York Times reported, according to two people familiar with the MLS team’s plans.

The Yankees are co-owners of NYCFC along with Manchester City and the move to set down home at Yankee Stadium, expected to be announced next week, follows their inability to nail down a deal for a soccer stadium. The Times noted the three-year term reflected just how long it might take to get a soccer stadium off the ground and operational.

MLS had explored building a permanent home for the new New York club in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, but that plan was halted after Manchester City and the Yankees were announced as owners in May 2013. They explored a development project near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, but that project met with opposition from new mayor Bill de Blasio.

In his talk with fans and media on the eve of the 2014 openers, MLS Commissioner Don Garber acknowledged concluding a stadium deal in New York had become more difficult than it would have been six months earlier (under pro-development mayor Michael Bloomberg).

The Times called the Yankee Stadium deal "a temporary reprieve." It noted that issues on how NYCFC would play on the Yankee Stadium field remained to be resolved. The stadium has hosted one-off international soccer matches that allowed for grass to be laid where the infield is located. But laying down and removing grass for the 17-game MLS regular season would be problematic.

It is almost a year since NYCFC was unveiled as MLS's 20th club.

  1. Claudio Garcia chamorro
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.
    A total shame and disgrace to the sport. With all the Arab $$$$ - am open field is dificult to obtained. ????? Yankee Stadium ???? Horrible ...... How would Yankee fans like to see one of their games played on a soccer field lined lay-out! Bloomberg where are you ????? What do the Yankees know about soccer anyway?? Baseball World Series ? How many countries participate on this yearly "World " Series ??? What a joke !
  1. James Hardern
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
    This is tolerable as long as there is a soccer specific solution on the horizon. If playing in Yankee Stadium ends up as the long term answer, then it will be a joke, and not a very funny one.
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 6:04 p.m.
    MLS is taking a risky gamble against their own policy. Hoping a soccer stadium gets built in NYC. I cant believe its going to take 4 years to build it. Yankee Stadium is an ok location and has great amenities, but only about 20k seats have a good view of the soccer field. Most of the seats are too far away. And the field will be the smallest in MLS, which players wont like.
  1. Hector Alzando
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 9:35 p.m.
    Lesson learned for MLS. Until the dollars are allocated and the shovels are in the ground, a plan is just a to be disregarded at any moment. I think MLS should be more careful in awarding teams to cities without precise and already approved, vetted, and funded stadium plans. Everyone knows space and money are big premiums in NYC. This is hardly surprising that there are some pretty major delays. Just look at DC. They've been looking for a new building location for close to 15 years and nothing!

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