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NYCFC headed to Yankee Stadium but for how long?
by Paul Kennedy, April 21st, 2014 5:16PM

TAGS:  mls, new york city fc


[MLS EXPANSION] As expected, MLS expansion club New York City FC announced plans to play its first season at Yankee Stadium but just how long it will be the home of its co-owner, the New York Yankees, remains to be seen as the club seeks out a permanent home for a soccer stadium in the five boroughs.

Yankee Stadium has held several games involving international teams in recent years and will feature parent club Manchester City and Liverpool on July 30. The old Yankee Stadium was the home to the New York Generals and New York Cosmos.

The stadium will be downsized to a capacity of 33,444 seats for NYCFC matches. The field will take three days to convert from baseball to soccer. The only other MLS club to have shared a baseball stadium is D.C. United at RFK Stadium before the Washington Nationals moved into their own baseball stadium.

“We are thrilled to call Yankee Stadium our first home for New York City FC,” NYCFC chief business officer Tim Pernetti said in a statement. “Yankee Stadium is one of the world’s most legendary sports venues and a great and accessible location for fans. There is no better place for New York City FC to kick off our historic first season in MLS and we look forward to hosting soccer fans across all five boroughs, and beyond at Yankee Stadium next year.”

At a press conference on Monday, Yankees president Randy Levine and Pernetti said there was no timetable to getting a soccer stadium deal done.

"Our goal is to be in a soccer-specific building as soon as possible," Pernetti said "We’re going to take our time to get it right."

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.

A stadium deal in New York has become more complicated than it would have been under pro-development mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had pushed for the Queens location as one of his legacy projects.

  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: April 21, 2014 at 7:48 p.m.
    They don't really have a choice but if it drags on like DC it could be a disaster. In most baseball stadiums there are only about 20,000 seats that have a good view for soccer. I wonder what the players will think of the small field. Who has the smallest field in MLS now?
  1. Ken Jamieson
    commented on: April 21, 2014 at 11:09 p.m.
    Tell me again exactly why New York needs a second MLS team? Oh yeah, the "New York" Red Bulls aren't actually based in New York City or even the State of New York. So the City of New York, population of over 8,000,000, doesn't have a suitable stadium for soccer in the range of 25,000 to 40,000 seats. Of course both "New York" NFL teams also play in New Jersey! I hope Minnesota gets an MLS team with their new stadium being built. Like Seattle, I expect they will build it to accommodate both types of football.
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: April 22, 2014 at 11:29 a.m.
    I looked into vancouver and BC Place. The whitecaps are actually outdrawing the BC Lions but again that is CFL not NFL.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 27, 2014 at 9:05 a.m.
    I attended several Cosmos games at the 'old Yankee Stadium'. The car commute was a disaster then, and one can imagine it today. If it was City or Liverpool playing the venue, fan turnout would be no problem, but that's not the case. As GM mentioned, promises of a soccer specific stadium can lead to eternal excuses ala DC United who are stuck because of political gridlock.

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