NYC FC submits plan for soccer venue near Yankee Stadium

Friday August 30th, 2013

NYC FC has proposed a soccer-specific stadium near Yankee Stadium. (Getty Images) NYC FC has proposed a soccer-specific stadium near Yankee Stadium. (Getty Images)

New York's newest Major League Soccer franchise could become neighbors of the Bronx Bombers.

The New York Times reports the New York Yankees, part owner of NYC FC, have submitted a proposal for a soccer-specific stadium to be located just south of Yankee Stadium. Manchester United of the Premier League is also a part-owner of NYC FC.

From the Times:

If the latest proposal is successful, the New York City Football Club would build a 25,000-to-30,000-seat stadium that offers connections to subways and rail lines, as well as Yankee Stadium and the Gateway Center, a large retail complex near the Harlem River.

The franchise is negotiating with the owners of a nine-acre parcel between the Major Deegan Expressway and East 153rd Street.

“We’ve had preliminary discussions,” Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees, said, “but we’re a long way from any decision. We’re also considering sites in Queens and Brooklyn.”

NYC FC's Bronx proposal comes on the heels of community opposition against its original plans to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The sticking point was building a stadium on park land.

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NYC FC's new proposal does not use park land.

Mr. Levine emphasized that if a deal was struck, it would not involve any parkland. The team, which would not play on the same day the Yankees had a home game, has sought a site that is near public transportation and communities where soccer is especially popular.

Still, the Times reports NYC FC must address several factors that could halt the plan.

It will not be easy for the club to put the Bronx site together. Sitting on the parcel under consideration is a parking garage for Yankee Stadium that is run by a troubled nonprofit, the Bronx Parking Development Company. In April, the company defaulted on a $237 million civic bond.

The soccer club would have to strike a deal with the parking company that would compensate it for the garage and put it on more solid financial footing.

In July, Mayor Mayor Bloomberg mentioned that NYC FC would shift its pursuit of a new stadium to the Bronx. In a weekly radio segment, Bloomber said that “Yankee Stadium will become the home of the New York City Football Club.” The mayor's office later said Bloomberg had misspoken.

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