Yankee President Levine open to permanent NYC FC home outside New York City

Yankee Soccer Stadium

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.”

43 Comments

    • The real Stan

      04/22/2014 at 8:24 am

      Laugh at what? We play in Jersey, I love my bulls but realistically all of our connections are in jersey. They’ll still be a NY based team playing in Yankee stadium, their training grounds will be in NY, I’m NYRBTID but IMO we’re in no position to poke fun.

      • MarkFishkin

        04/22/2014 at 9:35 am

        I disagree in the strongest of terms. As all operating executives have since inception discussed how the blue team will “represent the city” and “be there first club to play INSIDE THE CITY,” the notion of them leaving the five boroughs to find a suitable permanent venue is imminently poke-fun-able.

        • The real Stan

          04/22/2014 at 7:18 pm

          Eh we all see red but that doesn’t mean we can overlook facts, the fact that they’ll be playing at Yankee stadium means they will be repping and playing in NY and NYC specifically.Even if they play in Yonkers or somewhere else outside of the boroughs their history will forever be tied to NYC because of where they started playing and with our mostly NJ based history though we’re a NY team IMO I felt poke fun at the blues is just in poor taste. NYRB fans constantly get the pink bulls, energy drinks, NJRB jokes but we still defend our team name and our club as a NY team, giving the blues a hard time when they’ve already done two things right so far by working on a NY based training ground/stadium just doesn’t seem right given our own decisions. Poke fun at what you like but I’ll keep the poking to on field results or lack there of when it come to the blues

          • The real Stan

            04/22/2014 at 7:19 pm

            Above comment aside, I love the podcast and the commitment to NYRB, keep it coming

  1. Anonymous

    04/22/2014 at 7:28 am

    Meanwhile MLS keeps getting a pass for their decisions by the soccer media in this country. Enough is Enough time for American soccer to be an open door for clubs. MLS was seen as progress, now they are just holding other clubs that wanna build & grow to the highest level back for pure Greed.

    • The real Stan

      04/22/2014 at 8:29 am

      Greed makes the world go round, Real and Barca get most of the Spanish TV money because of greed. RBNY has obviously left space in NY for a second team by its lack of marketing and making a mark on the city, heck we don’t even run a tournament (cosmos copa anyone?) NYRB did this to themselves, MLS is not at fault for making money.

  2. Pedro Gomes

    04/22/2014 at 10:26 am

    Oh the God’s of Spin will be very very busy if Yonkers becomes their home. Is it too late to add a 6th boro? I am sure the boys from Abu Dhabi could probably swing enough cash into the city coffers to make that vote happen.

  3. Pedro Gomes

    04/22/2014 at 10:29 am

    And don’t forget aspiring MLS markets without insane amount of financial backing…..get those downtown stadium plans together before you even think of getting an MLS franchise! We at HQ are very rigid about that nebulous stipulation

  4. Anthony Pignataro

    04/22/2014 at 1:16 pm

    Wow. What a big mistake that would be. Two seconds after Levine said that, Garber should have mugged someone with a microphone and indicate that MLS will not support a venue outside of NYC. From a selfish point of view I would prefer Yonkers, but a team in Yokers is not what MLS needs

  5. NYCsportsPUNK

    04/22/2014 at 1:40 pm

    The first indication you will get that this is starting to fail is Randy Levine distancing himself from the Land search & @NYCFC, he already started the process by indicating that they may play outside the 5 Boroughs ! So let the Levine watch begin, should be a fun one !

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  7. Fabio

    04/22/2014 at 7:10 pm

    This is NYCFC, not NYFC !!!!

  8. Bronx Boy

    04/23/2014 at 8:27 am

    This smells of negotiating process. The City has them by the short and curlys after the Corona Park fiasco and I understand from reporting that the parking lot debt is likely a problem but, seriously, if NYC and NYCFC can’t get a deal done for a new small football stadium next to Yankee Stadium then they should engage in a series of self upper cuts.

    The money is there, the team is coming and the worst thing they could do would be to build off the subway network. None of the 4 extant major sports would allow that and we’ve seen two teams from these leagues move to Barclays so that they can have it.

    • Bronx Boy

      04/23/2014 at 8:43 am

      BTW, I think a successful NYCFC would be a tide that lifts all ships, i.e. that the Jersey side would actually benefit significantly in terms of profile and interest from the development of a rivalry with the new team.

      There’ll be a few fans who make the switch but not enough to kill off the RBs. As a supporter of NYCFC I’ve been to a few RBs games and am off to Houston match tonight, and if the ticket resale prices and work sched allows still will make the shlep to RBs occasionally in coming years. If you are a football fan you are a football fan.

      You can bet your ass though that I’ll be at EVERY derby along with a lot of NY kids who have never seen anything like the derby atmosphere!

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