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.
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.