NYCFC Moves Final Regular-Season Game to Citi Field

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NYCFC logoNew York City FC will play its final regular-season game on Oct. 22 at Citi Field because of the New York Yankees‘ participation in the American League Championship Series, the club announced Thursday. Should the Yankees reach the World Series, NYCFC is expected to move its Major League Soccer conference semifinal home game, a senior club official confirmed.

Since the MLB playoffs involve additional field and stadium preparations it takes more than the normal three-day window to convert Yankee Stadium from baseball to soccer. Besides the field markings, there are installations built inside the stadium specific to the postseason (such as suites and arrangements for television rights holders) that cannot be easily taken down and rebuilt to accommodate both the Yankees and NYCFC. This applies to the specific security plans and installations that will be in place for the Yankees games which could not be disclosed given their sensitive nature.

“While we are happy for our partners, the New York Yankees, we understand that relocating a home game is a significant challenge for fans,” NYCFC club president Jon Patricof said. “We feel Citi Field will give our team the best chance of success on the field and provide a good environment for our incredible fans.”

Under the recommendation of City’s sporting department, the field at Citi Field will have the same dimensions as Yankee Stadium. The match against Columbus Crew  will kickoff at 4 p.m. as previously scheduled. The club said it intends to inform season-ticket holders of their options, but they will be similar to the arrangement for the Sept. 23 game in East Hartford, Conn., where fans had the option of replacing or receiving refunds for their tickets.

“Citi Field is an excellent ballpark which has hosted international soccer matches in the past,” Patricof said. “From a Sporting perspective, this represents an easy transition which would allow our team to get the result we will be looking for.”

Similar to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, Citi Field has hosted international soccer games with a field oriented within the outfield. The club is unsure what the capacity for the Citi Field game will be, but it is expected to be higher than the 10,000-or-so who attended the game in Connecticut. Citi Field is accessible by car or the No. 7 train though it is unclear whether the Willets Point Long Island Railroad station will be open for the day.

NYCFC is in negotiations to move its playoff game should the Yankees reach the World Series. The official confirmed that Citi Field is under consideration, but a possible golf event held for the weekend after the playoff round could complicate the negotiation. The sporting department has made it clear that grass fields are preferred but stadiums with turf are also under consideration. An announcement is expected next week.