Yankees believe Stadium can house NYCFC; MLB not so sure

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

It has been long assumed that New York City FC would start their inaugural season playing within the confines of Yankee Stadium. However, the team remains quiet over the site of their temporary home with just over a year until their debut.

Various sources tell EOS that Yankee Stadium is still the front runner to host NYCFC in 2015. However, concerns from Major League Baseball have become a constant road block in those discussions. MLB fears that the playing surface would be damaged from constant usage, leading to player injuries and disruption in play as was experienced in the 70’s when the Cosmos called Yankee Stadium home.

Yankee’s Executive Director of Non-Baseball events, Mark Holtzman, fell short of confirming Yankee Stadium as the team’s eventual home, only offering that an announcement would be made “soon.” However, he strongly defended the Stadium’s capacity to host continuous soccer matches if that happened to be the case.

“I don’t think we would have gotten into this relationship (if we had a problem),” Holtzman said. “The Yankees do nothing until it is thought out and planned out. We realized what we were getting into. Since this new stadium has been built, look at everything that we have done here? We just had the NHL. We have concerts. We are doing a lot of things we didn’t do in the old stadium.

“I think everyone up to the top of the organization understands very well what we were getting into when we made the relationship with Man City. It is a lot more than just the team here in the States. It is a worldwide branding partnership where we can really both benefit from each others brand.”

Safety, he expresses, would not be a concern either. “Baseball is clearly the number one priority,” he says. “We wouldn’t do anything to put anyone in any risk. It’s a major investment here in the players. At the end of the day, we look at these opportunities very careful and we wouldn’t get into these opportunities unless we were very comfortable about the end result.”

Unlike the days of the Cosmos, modern technology has changed the way a baseball stadium can accommodate separate sporting franchises. Holtzman points to advancements in field care that would help ease the day-to-day usage of the grounds in a way that would not impede the course of either game, while protecting the health of its participants.

“Technology has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years,” he says. “We are able to turn things over a lot faster than back then.” Recent experiences outside of the realm of baseball, he argues, have only bolstered the stadium crew’s ability to present a playable surface in short time.

“We are looking at a number of options vis-à-vis the mound. We have an operations crew here, second to none. It’s amazing what they have done with concerts and soccer and hockey and everything that we have done in a short period of time. I have all the confidence in the world in [Vice President of Stadium Operations] Doug Behar and his crew that whatever situation we present to them, they are going to be able to do.”

When asked about resistance from Major League Baseball, Holtzman said, “I am really not in the position to comment about that.” However, he did offer that “everyone will be pleased when they see the end result” of the temporary stadium solution.

“The start of the season, 2015, is a year away,” he acknowledges. “We have to sell tickets. There is a lot that has to be done, so clearly there has to be some sort of an announcement soon, I just can’t get into any more specifics at this point.”

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16 Comments on "Yankees believe Stadium can house NYCFC; MLB not so sure"

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[…] Yankees believe Stadium can house NYCFC; MLB not so sure “We are looking at a number of options vis-à-vis the mound. We have an operations crew here, second to none. It's amazing what they have done with concerts and soccer and hockey and everything that we have done in a short period of time. I have all the … Read more on Empire Of Soccer […]

Bill
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Bill
2 years 5 months ago

“It is a lot more than just the (MLS) team here in the States. It is a worldwide branding partnership where we can really both benefit from each others brand.”

“Baseball is clearly the number one priority.”

Anonymous
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Anonymous
2 years 5 months ago

Yankee Stadium will be surely the NYCFC temporary stadium for 3 seasons ( 2015-16-17 ) !!!!

Simon_M
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Simon_M
2 years 5 months ago

Who didn’t see this coming ? Raise your hands…….

Bill Reese
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Bill Reese
2 years 5 months ago

Didn’t the Nationals and DC United share RFK stadium from 2005-07? I don’t remember hearing complaints back then.

facebook_mcpearllongisland
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2 years 5 months ago

RFK Stadium was built as a multi-purpose facility which could handle baseball, football and soccer while Yankee Stadium was meant to be baseball-only.

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[…] It’s been assumed that Major League Soccer’s New York City FC would begin their inaugural season playing within the confines of Yankee Stadium.  However, MLB reportedly fears that the playing surface would be damaged from constant usage, leading to player injuries and disruption in play as was experienced in the 70s when the Cosmos called Yankee Stadium home.  Read more here. […]

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[…] Yankees believe Stadium can house NYCFC; MLB not so sure – from Empire of Soccer's Dave Martinez: “I don’t think we would have gotten into this relationship (if we had a problem),” Holtzman said. […]

Joosetiger
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Joosetiger
2 years 5 months ago
Why don’t they explore the simple but effective temporary stadium by following the model of Vancouver Whitecaps. They invested significant infrastructure to make a nice looking, temporary structure that was meant to last one season. It was designed to be able to be disassembled and largely recycled or repurposed. It even looked fine on TV. It was an intimate venue but with a full crowd, it looked better than permanent places like buck shaw stadium in San Jose or an empty Home Depot Center for Chivas USA. The hard part in NYC: finding a piece of land. I imagine that… Read more »
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[…] Empire of Soccer reports that, while the Yankees may think Yankee Stadium can serve as a temporary home for NYC FC, Major League Baseball isn’t so sure. […]

Trevor Marine
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2 years 4 months ago

Trevor Marine liked this on Facebook.

Stephen Elliott
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2 years 4 months ago

Stephen Elliott liked this on Facebook.

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[…] 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 […]

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[…] Champions Cup match between Manchester City and Liverpool on July 30th of this year. However some (including, reportedly, Major League Baseball) believe accommodating a full season of soccer and baseball each summer might be too much for the […]

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[…] Champions Cup match between Manchester City and Liverpool on July 30th of this year. However some (including, reportedly, Major League Baseball) believe accommodating a full season of soccer and baseball each summer might be too much for the […]

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