Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New York City FC plans on building soccer arena next to Yankee Stadium


It looks like the New York Yankees will soon have a new neighbor in the Bronx as the New York City FC soccer club plans to build a new stadium in close proximity to Yankee Stadium. It all makes sense since the Major League Soccer (MLS) team is owned by Manchester City of the English Premier League and the Yankees Major League Baseball club.

New York City FC (NYC FC) has submitted a proposal to the city regarding a new 25,000 to 30,000 seat venue which will be used for soccer only. The plans call for the facility to sit just to the south of the new Yankee Stadium. The reasoning behind the stadiums being close together is that the public will be able to use the same transportation options to reach the venue. In addition, the new arena won’t disturb any existing park land and the local area is filled with soccer supporters.

Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees, said that preliminary discussions have already taken place, but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the project and nothing has been set in stone as of yet. He admitted that NYC FC has also been investigating other areas in New York for a new stadium including Brooklyn and Queens.

Before New York was awarded a new MLS franchise the league had worked for over a year on trying to receive permission to build a new soccer-specific stadium in Flushing Meadows Park, which is located in the borough of Queens. However, when NYC FC was launched in May the league pulled out of the proposed site. MLS said it would let the franchise decide for itself where it would like to be located.

The site that NYC FC is investigating in the Bronx is a nine-acre piece of land which is currently being used as a parking lot for fans traveling to Yankee Stadium. However, if this land is built upon it will greatly reduce the amount of parking for baseball games especially since parking spots are scarce in the local area. There is also a factory on the site as well as a highway ramp which drives use to access the Major Deegan Expressway.

Levine claimed that the soccer team wouldn’t play the same day at home as the Yankees and this would allow fans to watch both teams in action without any conflicts. It would also alleviate pressure on public transportation systems as well as the parking situation. The soccer club is schedules to begin playing in the 2015 MLS season. However, it may be hard to keep the promise of not playing on the same day as the Yankees since the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches are typically scheduled for Wednesday evenings.

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