While New York City F.C. have run into considerable road blocks in their quest for a permanent stadium deal, they have made major strides in acquiring a proper training facility to call their own.
In fact, they may be ready to announce their new home training center by months end.
“We are very close to making an announcement on that,” Director of Football Claudio Reyna explains. “We feel, (Head Coach) Jason (Kreis) and I, that it’s as important (as a stadium). When you talk to coaches and players — that’s your home, that’s where you spend all your time and it’s critical, as critical as a stadium.
“We are excited about that and hope to have an announcement before the end of the month.”
According to Reyna, the training facility will be located somewhere in New York State, but outside of the five boroughs. It will also serve as the main hub for the team’s entire administrative offices.
“I cannot tell you the location yet but we are very close to finalizing a deal for a training ground,” Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano said. “That will come earlier than the stadium, in the next weeks or months.”
With a permanent training home in place and administrative offices just over the horizon, the club continues to struggle to get a footing with their stadium plans. The New Year has seen a deluge of negative press associated with the team’s proposed plans to build a stadium in the South Bronx, mere blocks from Yankee Stadium.
For now, the club is “days or weeks” from announcing a temporary stadium deal while they continue to explore options for a permanent home. Soriano reveals that late dealings last year to secure a stadium deal with the Bloomberg administration for the 153rd street area were “not close” despite reports to the contrary. He did, however, add that the team would be looking at “several sites, not just one or two, in the Bronx and elsewhere.”
“In terms of the permanent stadium, we are not looking for a place to build a building — we are looking for a home,” Soriano said. “That is much more relevant and complicated. If it takes more time, it takes more time.
“Wherever we build the stadium, it has to make commercial sense and it has to make civic sense. We need the community to embrace us. We need to go a place where we can say it’s home, where the community says it is home and they like us in the tradition of all the big soccer clubs and sports clubs in the world. That takes time.”