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New York City FC Stadium

The New York City FC Stadium is a proposed soccer-specific stadium to be built in New York City for the expansion franchise New York City FC of Major League Soccer. The team currently plays its home games at Yankee Stadium.[1]

Proposed Hudson River plan (2011)

Prior to an expansion team being awarded to private ownership in 2011, Major League Soccer considered building a stadium in the borough of Manhattan on Pier 40 at the west end of Houston Street adjacent to Hudson River Park. The plan was scrapped due to local opposition.[2][3]

Proposed Flushing Meadows plan (2012–2013)

In 2012, before the club's founding was announced in May 2013, MLS presented initial plans to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in the borough of Queens.[4] In 2013, Major League Soccer was in negotiations to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows for a future team. The stadium would be located on the site of the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets from the 1964 New York World's Fair.[5] No agreement was made.[6] MLS had considered 24 potential sites and concluded that Flushing Meadows Corona Park was the only viable option.[7]

The plan received opposition from community advocacy groups, for converting public park space for a private enterprise, and leasing 13 acres of public land for $1 a year for 35 years.[8] In addition, New York City comptroller John Liu said, "I like the idea of a soccer venue in New York City… What I'm not crazy about is the fact that they want to take public park land in the process".[8] Any deal that uses public park land would require a land swap and the creation of a replacement public park. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who expressed support for the Flushing Meadows site proposed converting the nearby site of the decommissioned Flushing Airport, but that plan too has encountered criticism, as it would not require the club to purchase any land, and would replace a park in a low-income neighborhood with one in a more affluent neighborhood and not accessible by public transit.[8]

The New York Mets, the crosstown rivals of New York City FC's minority owner, the New York Yankees, have also expressed their opposition to a new stadium at Flushing Meadows, as the site is within sight of Citi Field, the Mets' home field. The Mets responded with an apparent demand for up to $40 million in compensation for the use of their parking facilities at soccer games should the new stadium be built.[9]

The league announced that the club would "continue to review other potential sites as well", although MLS commissioner Don Garber had said in April 2013 that "There is no Plan B" should the Flushing Meadows plan fall through.[7]

Proposed Bronx plan (2013–2015)

After the Queens proposal was scrapped, there was a proposal to build the stadium in the borough of the Bronx adjacent to Yankee Stadium.[10] On June 13, 2013, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. wrote an open letter to Garber, imploring him to consider his borough as an alternative location given the issues surrounding the Queens location, though by this time New York City FC and its owners had taken over the bulk of the work in selecting a location.[11]

The club plans to play at Yankee Stadium for an unspecified number of years.[12] Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City F.C., stated the team "will have to play in a temporary location for two years, maybe three."[13]

On August 29, 2013, plans for a proposed nine-acre complex near Yankee Stadium, between the Major Deegan Expressway and East 153rd Street, were leaked. Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees, confirmed these reports, but stated that any plans were far from final.[14]

In December 2013, the team and Mayor Bloomberg's administration were close to an agreement over a $350 million stadium near Yankee Stadium. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who replaced Bloomberg in January 2014, expressed opposition to the deal, as it involved tax breaks, public financing and a sale or lease of public land. The plan requires buying land currently occupied by a factory, which would have to be rebuilt at another location and demolishing a parking garage, potentially leaving the city responsible for its $240 million debt.[15]

In March 2015, New York property lawyer Martin Edelman, a member of Manchester City's board of directors, said that NYCFC had abandoned the Bronx plan and were looking at locations in Queens and Brooklyn to build a new stadium.[16]

Proposed Columbia University plan (2015–2016)

In April 2015, NYCFC was reported to be interested in building a new stadium in Columbia University's Baker Athletics Complex in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. The 17,000 seat Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium would be demolished and replaced with a $400 million 25,000 seat stadium to be used by NYCFC and the Columbia Lions.[2]

A report came out days later from a source familiar with the preliminary meeting between Columbia University and NYCFC about the clubs possible relocation to the university saying that it is "beyond premature" and "at the end of the day, there's really nothing going on." "There's nothing to discuss because it's not even at the embryonic stage." New York City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez issued a statement saying the news of a possible stadium in his district was "deeply troubling" and that he was "irked" by what he read in the report. Councilman Rodriguez also said “Any group with a real intention to develop any possible project should start by engaging the surrounding community that will be directly impacted by the proposal and its elected leaders. For years community residents in this area have worked hard to ensure that the quality of life in this area is maintained, and I believe that in order to preserve and build upon their gains, community engagement in this process is of utmost importance.”[17]

As of October 2016 the pursuit of the Baker Athletics Complex as a potential stadium site appears to have been abandoned. According to NYCFC president Jon Patricof "there's nothing new to report" on the search for a stadium site.[18]

Proposed Belmont Park plan (2017)

In February 2017, it was reported that New York City FC had expressed interest in having its own soccer-specific stadium at a site within Belmont Park in Elmont, New York just outside the city limits in Nassau County.[19] The club participated in site development talks in January 2017, though they did not enter active negotiations. Belmont Park had previously been the proposed stadium site for the New York Cosmos of the Division II North American Soccer League, but the Cosmos proposal was rejected by the Empire State Development Corporation in December 2016.[20]

On August 17, 2017, partners from the offices of architect Rafael Viñoly and facility management firm Proleisure attended a site visit hosted by the Empire State Development Corporation. The visit was held for any parties that were interested in submitting a proposal by September 28, 2017 to develop the site.[21]

By the end of August, NYCFC team president Jon Patricof had a series of meetings with season ticket holders about the club's stadium situation. In those meetings, he told the fans that "Nobody is all that interested in (the Belmont site)," and that he personally thought it was "too far away for a permanent home".[22] Patricof also said that while the club had investigated dozens of potential sites, the list had at that point been reduced to three, and that if a deal was announced by the end of 2017 it would likely be in Queens or the Bronx.[22]

On September 25, 2017, it was reported that NYCFC will be submitting a proposal to build a soccer-specific stadium on the 43-acre site at Belmont Park. The club is partnering with real-estate developer Related Companies for its proposal.[23] On December 19, 2017, the site was selected as the new home for the New York Islanders' 18,000-seat arena, effectively ending the plans to build the stadium.[24]

Proposed Harlem River Yards plan (2018)

In April 2018, new plans for the Harlem River Yards development in the south Bronx were revealed, for the land north of the Willis Avenue Bridge; the area would be anchored by the new stadium of 26,000 seats, which would be designed by Rafael Viñoly.[25] On April 25, 2018, it was reported by club president Jon Patricof that the club is focusing on other sites more seriously than Harlem Yards. “We submitted something to the State [of New York] as part of a request for expressions of interest,” said Patricof about the Harlem River Yards site. “But that’s it. That site is not an active site.”[26]

References

  1. ^ New York City FC fittingly celebrate their first home game with a first win
  2. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V.; Das, Andrew (April 28, 2015). "New York City F.C., Searching for Stadium Site, Is Considering Columbia Athletic Complex". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ Diaz, Cesar (June 4, 2012). "The Problems With Pier 40". New York, New York: U.S. National Soccer Players. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Picker, David (December 5, 2012). "M.L.S. Promotes Stadium at a Town Hall Meeting". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ Leight, Holly (May 13, 2013). "Be Our Guest: Major League Soccer Stadium Would Pollute Flushing Meadows-Corona Park". Daily News (New York). Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Club Statement 21 May" (Press release). Manchester City FC. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Anuta, Joe (May 21, 2013). "Yankees Join MLS Stadium Project as Search for Site Expands". TimesLedger. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Carlisle, Jeff (May 21, 2013). "Many Questions Surround Stadium Plans, NYC FC". ESPN. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  9. ^ Belson, Ken; Bagli, Charles V. (May 21, 2013). "A Team Is Born, but Not All Cheer". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ Martinez, Dave (February 1, 2014). "Favorable Returns for NYCFC After Stadium Town Hall". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ Edwards, Andy (June 13, 2013). "Borough Battle: Bronx President Ready to Compete with Queens for NYCFC Stadium". Major League Soccer. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bradley, Jeff (April 21, 2014). "NYCFC Announces Plans to Play at Yankee Stadium; No Timetable Given for Stay". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ Borg, Simon (May 21, 2013). "New York City FC to Play at Temporary Location for "Two Years, Maybe Three"". Major League Soccer. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (August 30, 2013). "Soccer Club's Latest Stadium Proposal Would Give the Yankees a New Neighbor". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (December 11, 2013). "Deal for Bronx Soccer Stadium in Works as Clock Ticks". The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ Williams, Bob (March 13, 2015). "New York City FC's home truth: Yankee Stadium will never be their field of dreams". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  17. ^ "NYCFC Inwood Stadium idea 'beyond premature'". NY Daily News. April 30, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Patricof: No News on NYCFC Stadium Search". Soccer Stadium Digest.com Powered by Populous. October 4, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  19. ^ Schnitzer, Kyle (September 16, 2017). "NYCFC remain in active search for new home". nypost.com. The New York Post. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  20. ^ Brodsky, Robert; Baumbach, Jim (December 9, 2016). "Belmont Park redevelopment proposals scrapped by state". Newsday.com. Newsday. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  21. ^ Araos, Christian (August 19, 2017). "NYCFC's Architects Visited Belmont Site". Empire of Soccer. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Dunn, Sam (August 31, 2017). "Jon Patricof: NYCFC stadium will most likely be in the Bronx or Queens; nobody wants Belmont". Husdon River Blue. Vox Media. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Source: NYCFC will bid to build soccer stadium at Belmont Park". Newsday. September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Sources: Islanders' arena bid picked for Belmont Park". newsday.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  25. ^ Fedak, Nikolai. "Exclusive Reveal For $700 Million Harlem River Yards Mega-Project, Including New York's First Soccer Stadium Designed By Rafael Viñoly". New York YIMBY. Retrieved 17 April 2018. 
  26. ^ "Club President: NYCFC is Still Searching for Stadium Site". soccerstadiumdigest.com. April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 26, 2018.