NYCFC’s push for a stadium is reportedly about to land a key endorsement.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams will sign off on plans for the reigning MLS champions to get their own building near Citi Field, according to The Post. But that does not mean shovels are immediately going into the ground.
From The Post:
Mayor Eric Adams is expected to announce that he is onboard with plans for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium to be built near Citi Field that will be home to the New York City Football Club, sources close to the situation said.
“A deal is close, but negotiations are ongoing,” a source said.
Even with the mayor’s blessing the stadium would still need to be approved through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) which is not a given, sources said.
The stadium is expected to be privately funded, according to The Post. Which makes sense, given 80% of NYCFC is in effect owned by the royal family of Abu Dhabi (and the other 20% belongs to the Yankees). The initial belief was the stadium would be built in the Bronx, but plans have changed. The big sticking point moving forward may be “commitments to affordable housing and a public school in Willets Point,” according to The Post.
NYCFC has been around for close to a decade, but it is a stadium nomad. It has played home games at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and Red Bull Arena, among other venues. If the stadium gets built, it could be done as soon as 2025. That would be in time for the 2026 World Cup, although it’s hard to imagine FIFA would leave money on the table to play games in such a small venue.
Bottom line: The fact NYCFC is getting a stadium, even if it does not cost a penny of public money, is further proof soccer has “made it” in the United States. It will never be as popular as football. Or baseball or basketball. And it may even always lag behind hockey. But fads don’t pull off massive construction projects spending hundreds of millions in cities coast to coast.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]