Did New York City F.C. really entertain the idea of going the Vancouver Whitecaps’ route of constructing a temporary stadium to open their 2015 season?
Yes, and no.
“There is no truth to any stadium rumors in New Jersey or Westchester,” club spokeswoman Risa Heller tells EOS. “When we have temporary stadium news, we will let you know. We are making a lot of good progress.”
However, according to sources close to the process, the idea of a B.C. Place-styled temporary facility in Westchester was discussed and explored by the organization as they sought cheap and effective solutions to their short term stadium usage. It was only one of several contingency plans considered in light of dragging efforts to land NYC FC in Yankee Stadium.
While it has been a trying process, the front runner remains — and has always been — the home of the Yankees.
The temporary stadium announcement was something that the fledgling club hoped to have made many months ago. Various issues stalled that process. As we reported earlier this year, Major League Baseball showed resistance to the idea of dedicating time to a soccer franchise on a baseball diamond in fears of field damage interfering with play. Some within the Yankees share the same reservations despite club leaders insisting their award winning, in-house field crew would be capable of handling the task.
The delays forced NYCFC officials to entertain alternative options and think outside the box, which is where the idea of an erector-set style stadium in Westchester was born. Westchester was not the only solution examined by the club, but it was the most debated. Conversations went from locations within the inner boroughs to the outer boroughs — and beyond.
Nevertheless, Yankee Stadium will be the eventual landing spot for NYC FC — at least for year one. After their first campaign is complete, both sides will reassess the feasibility of coexistence between the soccer and baseball teams and determine their future.
While the 30-day timeline for a temporary stadium announcement has been repeated ad-nauseam since November of last year, club sources tell us they expect a statement no later than April.