Yankee Stadium hosted a friendly between Spain and the Republic of Ireland in 2013. (Mike Stobe, Getty Images)
Major League Soccer's New York expansion team will begin play in one of the city's most iconic venues.
According to a report in the New York Times, New York City Football Club (NYCFC) will play their first three MLS seasons at Yankee Stadium, the home field of their co-owners the New York Yankees. NYCFC, a joint venture between the Yankees and Manchester City of the English Premier League, had been searching for a concrete stadium plan since being announced as MLS' 20th team on May 21, 2013. The team begins play next season.
Yankee Stadium had been rumored as a temporary destination as a permanent solution was found, but efforts to secure that permanent deal have been stymied in the past. The club's plans to build in Queens within Corona park were halted by community opposition, and though the club reportedly submitted plans to build a venue nearby Yankee Stadium, there has not been any update since.
Yankee Stadium has been used as a soccer venue four times in its current iteration -- twice each in 2012 and 2013. For each of those games -- three pre-season warmups between European clubs and one international friendly between Spain and the Republic of Ireland -- temporary grass was laid over the dirt infield. The stadium is also set to host an International 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 stadium's turf to handle.
NYCFC is expected to make an official announcement next week.