While New York City FC were busy touting their temporary home at Yankee Stadium, much of the focus remained on their future, permanent home.
A familiar refrain echoed as each representative of the fledgling club assured the gathered media a stadium would be built within the five boroughs.
“From the beginning of this thing, we have absolutely been committed to New York City, so to answer your question, yes, that is what we are committed to getting done as a club,” NYC FC Chief Business Officer Tim Pernetti said of the club’s stadium goals.
One key representative did not get the memo. New York Yankee President Randy Levine went against the grain, opening up the possibility to building an arena outside the New York City boundaries.
“Tim talked about the preference is New York City, but if it is not going to happen in New York City, there is other places I would advise we look at,” Levine said after the press conference.
“I never rule out anything, but I am one vote, one voice.”
His comments come weeks after a surprise statement from Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who declared his desire to see professional soccer in his city.
“It is time to bring a professional sports franchise to Yonkers,” Spano said. “Professional soccer would be a game changer for Yonkers resulting in increased visitors, revenue & entertainment venues.”
That isn’t to say Levine doesn’t believe a New York City soccer stadium is achievable. In fact, he scoffed when it was suggested that building a stadium within the five boroughs was difficult, pointing at the Yankees’ own success as an example to the contrary.
To Levine, the establishment of a club itself is the most important piece to the puzzle. The rest will fall into place — whether within the boundaries of New York City or outside of it.
“I am very confident that we will be able to get a premier stadium done within New York City. If we can’t, then, there is a team,” he said. “Eventually, it will get a new stadium. There is going to be one somewhere.”
The one advantage, Levine suggests, is time.
“The practicality of it, it takes time to make a new stadium deal, to go through the processes, but we don’t have any time limit on this,” he said. “[Yankee Stadium] is going to be the home of New York City Football Club until there is another home.”