New York City, N.Y. – New York City F.C. are a year away from their Major League Soccer debut, and yet, there is no home stadium to be spoken of — temporary or otherwise.
“As we’ve shared before, we’re spending a lot of time on it,” NYC FC Chief Business Officer Tim Pernetti told reporters at the club’s badge unveiling event in Soho. “We’re definitely looking for a home, not just a place to play. We’re going to spend as much time as we need to spend, not only the people we need to in the boroughs where we’re looking, but the administration. We’re going to work through it in the most positive, productive way possible.
“When we have news, we’re going to tell you guys.”
While a permanent home remains years away, the announcement of a temporary facility has been surprisingly difficult. EOS had the chance to speak to NYC FC Director of Football Claudio Reyna at yesterday’s event who revealed that the club would have an announcement on a temporary facility “within a month.” If that sounds familiar, it should; MLS Commissioner Don Garber made a similar statement as did team CEO Ferran Soriano. In fact, the timeline was once described as mere “days.” That was back in January.
The solution for a temporary home may be more difficult than NYC FC is willing to admit. An EOS report last month cited concerns from Major League Baseball surrounding the usage of Yankee Stadium as a soccer field. While it wouldn’t be the first time a baseball team and a soccer club shared facilities, the concern remains that Yankee Stadium was simply not built to withstand the kind of abuse that stems from steady professional soccer matches. “Soccer divots” were a common problem when the Yankees and Cosmos shared space in the mid-70’s and interrupted play on occasion — a major concern for MLB.
While that may be the case, team sources tell us that Yankee Stadium continues to lead the charge as the temporary solution for next season.
“We’ve made great progress on that, a temporary stadium,” Pernetti said. “We’ve been pretty clear from the beginning that we’re going to have a home before we actually have a home. We’ve made great progress on it. We’re not ready to talk about it yet, but we will be soon.”