Yankees: “We are working on NYC FC playing at Yankee Stadium”

3 Comments

One big news story to come out of this AM’s press conference to announce New York City FC, was that Yankee Stadium seems to be the frontrunner for the franchises temporary home while a permanent home is being built.

That would be pretty neat.

“Well, tentatively we are working on them playing at Yankee Stadium. We are working on that,” Yankees part owner Hal Steinbrenner told the Yes Network following Wednesday morning’s press conference.

The Yankees President Randy Levine also spoke about the possible sites and logistical headaches for building a stadium in NYC.

“This is new York City, to get anything built is difficult,” Levin laughed. “We are going to do the right things. We are going to speak with the community and do the right things for them. We did the right things at Yankee Stadium. We employ more people in the Bronx and Manhattan than just about anybody. We will do this correctly.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber reinforced the league’s preference of a stadium in Corona Park in Flushing, Queens. And Yankees President Levine said they will explore that option and more.

We just got into it. We will follow the lead of Manchesteer City. We are going to step back and see what else is there. Just because you read a newspaper it doesn’t mean the community really feels that. The truth normally works. We need to get deep in the community and explain that and speak to the people. Other people can shout and scream as much as they want and then disappear. The New York Yankees are here for good, so are Manchester City.

So, just how would this work? Well, Yankee Stadium is hosting a friendly between Manchester City and Chelsea on Saturday. So that should be a pretty good indication. But just like other mixed use venues — think Madison Square Garden, shared by the New York Rangers and New York Knicks — the field can be switched from hosting baseball to soccer pretty quickly.

(More: New York City FC announce Claudio Reyna as Director of Football)

But is it viable to run a MLS team in Yankee stadium while the Major League Baseball season is going on? Sure it is.

Listen, NYC FC will only have 17-18 home games between March and October. Yes that coincides precisely with the Yankees season but nowadays it is so easy to transform a baseball diamond into a soccer field, and vice versa, overnight.

The big issue will be scheduling between MLB and MLS to make it work. Having NYC FC playing home games will the Yankees are on the road for two or three series in a row would make huge sense. It can be done. Easily.

When City and Chelsea square off at 5:30pm ET on Saturday, the Yankees will be playing at the Tampa Bay Rays. When they return to play at home against the Mets next Wednesday, no signs that a soccer game took place in their absence will be visible.

Will Yankee Stadium become not only a temporary home for soccer in the US, but a beacon to showcase the sport?

Now wouldn’t that be something, if only temporarily, while New York City FC search for and build their new home in NYC.

(More: Possible temporary homes for New York City FC)

New York Red Bulls introduce space at RBA for autistic families

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls
Leave a comment

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) The Red Bulls have announced plans for a permanent sensory-friendly space at their stadium for families impacted by autism.

Formerly executive offices, the space overlooking midfield is a calm area that is free from the crowds and the noise of Red Bull Arena during matches. Families can use it for free.

The team announced the new space on Saturday before the Red Bulls were set to host the Chicago Fire. It was Autism Awareness Night at the stadium.

“Families deserve to feel welcome and comfortable each time they step foot into Red Bull Arena, not just one night a year,” Red Bulls GM Marc de Grandpre said in a statement released by the club. “We hope all sports teams and entertainment venues are inspired to take similar action to provide comfort for families with loved ones on the autism spectrum.”

League Two game restarted in empty stadium after fans storm field

Photo credit: BBC Sport / Twitter: @BBCSport
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) An English soccer game restarted in an empty stadium after a pitch invasion led to the crowd being told the fixture had been abandoned.

There were five minutes remaining in Leyton Orient’s fourth-tier game against Colchester on Saturday when a sit-down protest was staged on the pitch by Orient fans against Italian owner Francesco Becchetti.

It forced the referee to take the players off the field. The protests lasted for more than an hour before the crowd was told the game had been abandoned and the stadium eventually cleared. The teams came out and finished the game.

Leyton Orient lost 3-1 a week after its relegation from the English Football League was confirmed after 112 years.

“A decision was taken with the police to announce that the game had been abandoned as it was felt this would help clear the pitch, which proved correct,” the EFL said in a statement. “However, it was deemed appropriate that the game needed to be played to a conclusion in order to maintain the integrity of the competition.”

La Liga: Barcelona, Real Madrid hold serve in tight title race

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Leave a comment

A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Super-duper Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of top 7 ]

Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona

Barcelona are doing all they can do — win — in their bid to usurp Real Madrid in the race for the title. While they entered the weekend — and still are — ahead of their El Clasico rivals based on head-to-head results this season, Los Blancos still have a game in hand which will surely decide whether Madrid claim their 33rd top-division title, or a 25th for Barca.

On Saturday, Luis Enrique’s side had more than just the title at stake — also at stake: the Derbi Barceloni, against fellow Catalan side Espanyol.

For 45 minutes, the home side held firm and refused to break, but once Luis Suarez put the Blaugrana ahead in the 50th minute, that was all she wrote. Ivan Rakitic doubled the advantage in the 76th minute, and Suarez completed the scoring 11 minutes later.

Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia

By the time the derby kicked off, Madrid had already applied the pressure and gone three points clear with a 2-1 victory that was a whole lot closer than the final score indicates.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, and Zinedine Zidane’s side was well on its way to victory. Ronaldo followed up his opening goal with a missed penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half, and Daniel Parejo pulled the visitors level with a sensational free kick just eight minutes before the end of regular time. Points looked sure to be dropped, and the door opened wider for Barca, but Marcelo was prepared to play the part of hero on the day, and the Brazilian left back bagged one of the season’s more improbable goals, a right-footed strike from the top of the box, in the 86th minute.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Las Palmas 0-5 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 2-1 Granada

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Osasuna vs. Deportivo La Coruña — 6 a.m. ET
Real Betis vs. Alaves — 10:15 a.m. ET
Eibar vs. Leganes — 12:30 p.m. ET
Celta Vigo vs. Athletic Bilbao — 2:45 p.m. ET

Monday’s La Liga schedule

Malaga vs. Sevilla — 3 p.m. ET

Championship Focus: It’s all about the playoff places now

Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United having already clinched the Championship’s two automatic promotion places, all eyes turn to the four teams behind them still jockeying for playoff positioning…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s coverage of the Championship ]

3rd — Reading — 82 points, +2 GD
4th — Sheffield Wednesday — 81 points, +16 GD
5th — Huddersfield Town — 81 points, +1 GD
6th — Fulham — 77 points, +27 GD

First of all, the Championship remains the least sensible league in the world. Disagree? Just try to explain the above wildly varying points totals and the corresponding goal differentials. Go ahead, I’ll wait

As for the weekend’s results, Reading and Wednesday did themselves major favors in the race for third with victories over Wigan Athletic (1-0) and Ipswich Town (1-0), respectively, while Huddersfield, who entered the weekend in that top playoff place, played 67 minutes with a man advantage against Birmingham City, and lost 2-0. All three of Reading, Wednesday and Huddersfield have clinched their place in the promotion playoffs, which begin two weeks from Saturday, on May 13.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of the top 7 play ]

Given Leeds United’s 3-3 draw with Norwich City, a win would have clinched the fourth and final playoff place for Fulham, but the Cottagers dropped a pair of points themselves in a 1-1 draw with Brentford at Craven Cottage. Still, Fulham are all but into the playoffs with a three-point lead on Leeds, and a goal differential that’s 13 goals better.