NYCFC Forced to Relocate First MLS Playoff Game to Citi Field

NYCFC's home-field advantage comes with a twist.
Author:
Publish date:
NYCFC topped MLS's Eastern Conference

NYCFC spent the MLS regular season earning home-field advantage for the duration of the Eastern Conference portion of the playoffs, but it won't feel exactly at home in its first playoff game–and maybe beyond.

The club confirmed that its first game in the playoffs will be played at Citi Field, home of baseball's New York Mets, because of a conflict with its home venue, Yankee Stadium. With the New York Yankees–who own part of NYCFC–still alive in the American League Championship Series vs. the Houston Astros, the club can't play in the Bronx and will instead play in Queens for the second time, following a 2017 Decision Day matchup vs. the Columbus Crew.

The reason for the relocation is that Game 4 got rained out and postponed, pushing the series back a day and beyond the deadline in place to determine the site. The Yankees trail in the series 2-1 and could theoretically be ousted by Friday's Game 5, but the club has to plan for all contingencies–i.e. the Yankees advancing and needing its home field not choppy before the World Series–and give teams and fans ample time to prepare for matchday.

Should the Yankees advance to the World Series, it could further complicate matters for NYCFC, as it would push the club to Citi Field for a conference final.

NYCFC will play either D.C. United or Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday after enjoying a first-round bye this weekend.

The other side of the bracket features Atlanta United vs. the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union vs. the New York Red Bulls.