Mayor Spano wants a pro-soccer team in Yonkers

IMAGE, CITYOFYONKERS.COM

IMAGE, CITYOFYONKERS.COM

Harrison, N.J. has the New York Red Bulls, the Bronx may host New York City F.C. and the New York Cosmos are taking root in Long Island.

Why can’t a pro-soccer team call Yonkers home?

That is the message from City Mayor Mike Spano as he delivered his State of the City address.

“It is time to bring a professional sports franchise to Yonkers,” he said. “Professional soccer would be a game changer for Yonkers resulting in increased visitors, revenue & entertainment venues.”

The comments come at the tail end of speculation that New York City F.C. would entertain Yonkers as a temporary home for its fledgling soccer team. As reported on EOS Wednesday, that won’t be a possibility – at least in year one.

Nevertheless, Spano’s comments interject the city into the conversation as a viable solution for a home grounds in the short or long term. While not officially confirmed, NYC FC will already have roots in Purchase with the establishment of their training grounds on the campus of Manhattanville College. The locations are roughly a half-hour drive from each other, but the addition of a Yonkers stadium could make Westchester County, an area rich in youth soccer participation, a central hub for NYC FC — at least for the foreseeable future.

But NYC FC may not be the only team targeted with Spano’s statements. The outward interest can also be directed towards the New York Cosmos, who have been in a waiting pattern for over 18 months, hoping that the Empire State Development Corp. approves it’s bid for a stadium on the Elmont/Queens border. Like the Belmont plan, Spano’s idea would likely center around making the City’s casino and racetrack area an ‘entertainment hub,’ complimented by the addition of professional soccer right on property. It is a possibility EOS dissected in much detail weeks ago.

In essence, creating an entertainment hub is the basis of the current Cosmos bid to the State. Were Yonkers a possibility, the Cosmos would find a ready ally in Spano with a near identical vision for a stadium plan.

For now, PDL side Westchester Flames are the lone soccer team in the entire county affiliated in the American soccer pyramid. Spano hopes Yonkers can make an upgrade.