One-off soccer and hockey games are one thing, but the New York Times is reporting that Yankee Stadium will serve as host for the first three seasons of New York City FC soccer matches.
There are so many complications to consider here, not the least of which is the near-concurrent schedules of Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball. And certainly there’s little question the Yankees will hold sway over the building.
The report details many of the problems of building a park in New York, and it isn’t the most shining of details for how NYCFC is operating early in its existence:
The question of where the team would play its home games has hovered since it was announced last May that the club would join the league, delaying plans for everything from marketing and advertising to season ticket sales. The team has frequently promised a decision — it told the league in January that it would have a plan in 30 days — but has consistently missed even those self-imposed deadlines, to the frustration of M.L.S. officials and prospective fans.
The report, from NYT’s Andrew Das, David Waldstein and Ken Belson, points out that exhibitions at Yankee Stadium have involved temporary grass being put over the dirt but that’s not a full-time solution.
Here are the only quotes in the report:
“Technology has gotten to the point where I think we can turn it around pretty quickly,” said Yankees’ executive director of nonbaseball events Mark Holtzman.
“Baseball is clearly the No. 1 priority. We wouldn’t do anything to put anyone at any risk; there’s a major investment here in the players. At the end of the day, we look at these opportunities very carefully, and we wouldn’t get into these opportunities unless we were confident in the end result.”
Well, having an executive director nonbaseball events is a good step.
If they’ve got a good solution to sharing the pitch without destroying it, I’m sure myriad minor league clubs would love to hear it (let alone the grounds crew headaches that would come with flipping the field over and over and over again).