More issues with Yankee Stadium as New York City FC’s temporary home

8 Comments

Here is something else to chew on while we ponder: is New York City FC’s apparent plan of playing at Yankee Stadium for a year or two merely a bad idea, or is it a historically awful idea?

Seriously, poor sight lines for fans, dreadful proximity of the seats and a surface that is likely to be too small and poorly suited for soccer is no way for the newest high profile club to begin its days and nights in Major League Soccer. And that’s not to mention all the stigma attached to playing as renters, setting up camp in a place inexorably associated with baseball and with one of American sports’ most iconic forces (the Yankees).

This is regression into the bad old days of MLS 1.0. The perfect, temporary solution may not be out there – but there are certainly solutions that rate above this one.

How interesting it would be if the club gets saved from itself in this important matter of venue selection. (Because, honestly, we all know that “temporary” could possibly mean three, four or five years … or more! If you follow MLS at all, you know all too well that nothing is easy when it comes to facility development.)

This story from Empire of Soccer says “concerns from Major League Baseball have become a constant road block” in discussions that would make Yankee Stadium the temporary home.

Baseball officials are worried about potential damage to the surface ahead of baseball games.

Chances are, this will be resolved, and this Yankee Stadium thing will happen. Deep sigh.

It’s not just those sight line issues, the proximity to the field and a surface that will inhibit Jason Kreis’ team from playing the way it would like that make Yankee Stadium such a bad idea. History has shown us the importance of Major League Soccer teams getting it right immediately – or at least not getting it horribly wrong.

When marketing, sales or branding matters start in the wrong direction, it’s so difficult to arrest the wrongway momentum and get things turned around.