NYC FC: A Look At Yankee Stadium As A Soccer Venue

Yankee Stadium Soccer NYCFC

It is finally official: New York City FC will call Yankee Stadium home.

For some, this is a positive acquisition for the fledgling club. After all, Yankee Stadium is as iconic a venue as you can get. New Yorkers have flocked to the South Bronx for years to catch a glimpse of one of the most celebrated baseball clubs in history. Logistically, it is a “home run” (pun intended). It also falls in line with the club’s desire to find a permanent home within the same borough.

For others, all of those positives are dampened by the fact that, in it’s very essence, a professional football club will be playing in a baseball venue. Sight lines will be painful for the lower bowl spectators. Some areas will be up to 20 yards from the field before the first row even begins. Sod will be tarping over dirt to accommodate play, leaving for some questionable footing.

All of these concerns can be measured once the field is in proper use. For now, here are the logistics behind NYC FC’s plans:

DIMENSIONS

  • The field will be narrow: 110 yards in length by 70 yards in width.  This is the exact width and length of the original JELDWEN, which was notoriously criticized for it’s narrow pitch.
  • For comparison sake, NFL fields are 120×53.33.

CAPACITY

  • Yankee Stadium currently holds 49,642 (does not include SRO’s).  Grand stand and terrace level will be closed off for NYC FC games, a loss of roughly 16,198 seats.  That will give NYC FC a total capacity of 33,444 seats.

FIELD CONVERSION AND UPKEEP

  • Depictions of the field at the press event show the baseball mound outside of the field of play.  In actuality, it falls within it, and will have to be raised for each encounter.
  • The closest corner to the stands is on the northern right side of the field, which leaves a space of eight feet, nine inches.
  • Converting baseball to soccer and vice-versa will take three days.  The Yankees say if pressed, they could do it in two and a half days “if working around the clock.”
  • Yankee Stadium crew will experiment with “glow lights” — a technology made popular by the Green Bay Packers which encourages rapid grass growth and health under extreme environments.
  • Yankee Stadium will only employ a grass field.  No mixtures.

SCHEDULING

  • Major League Baseball offers it’s clubs a broad schedule for the following season during the summer of their current calendar.  That schedule is not finalized until December.  Major League Soccer and NYC FC have committed to working with MLB to “make certain the games will not get in the way with our regular schedule.”
  • They will anticipate 17 home matches, not including international friendlies, postseason matches and the like.
  • October is playoff baseball time.  It is also the final month of the MLS season.  There was no word on how NYC FC’s schedule would be effected by MLB postseason play — or vice versa.

TICKET SALES

  • Season tickets are now on sale on nycfc.com.
  • Suite holders and multi-year ticket holders will have opportunity to utilize their suites “in accordance with their agreement.