Several Yankee players have expressed their displeasure in the New York City FC use of Yankee Stadium throughout the summer.
With NYCFC’s journey for a permanent home still in the works, they are scheduled to use Yankee Stadium for all home games this season and next. Their home opener comes this weekend, and some Yankees aren’t too pleased.
“It’ll definitely cause an issue, but it’s nothing that we can control, so we can’t worry about it,” said Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira to the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Barbarisi. “It’s terrible for a field. Grass, dirt, everything gets messed up.”
Barbarisi’s story tabbed infielder Brendan Ryan as the baseball team’s biggest soccer fan, and even he wasn’t looking forward to the thought of soccer affecting the infield, specifically the hop off the infield grass.
“You want to limit the amount of bounces, really,” Ryan said. “So I’m going to fall on the side of erring aggressively—much, much more so than staying back and trying to read some hop that’s unpredictable. I’m going to be selling out to go get that ball, and I’m going to err on that side much more.”
The most damning quotes came from outfielder Brett Gardner, who was mostly concerned with what he believes to be a higher risk for injury.
“The problem is the root system. After you put new grass down, there’s no root system, so essentially you’re running full speed on top of AstroTurf that’s sitting on top of cement,” Gardner said. “And that grass will give way, and you blow something out—knee, ankle.”
Of the 17 home games NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium this season, only one will give the grounds crew less than three days to turn around the field from one sport to another. NYCFC president Tom Glick is not concerned with what he believes to be a system the grounds crew is well prepared for. “We’ve tested it out last two summers…and we believe the field will be able to handle both events,” Glick told the Journal.