New York City FC will finally have a permanent home after the club announced plans for a 25,000-seat pitch in the Willets Point neighborhood in Queens.
The club announced its partnership with New York mayor Eric Adams and Queens Development Group at a press conference on Wednesday. The project will be privately funded and will also include 2,500 affordable housing, hotels and retail spaces.
The stadium will be in the heart of a sports district. It will share a subway with the New York Mets’ CitiField and USTA’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which hosts the US Open. New York’s other MLS team, the Red Bulls, plays in Harrison, New Jersey.
NYC FC joined MLS in 2015 and won the MLS Cup last season, but played most of its home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The baseball field was criticized for being unsuitable for football, with the field sitting awkwardly at the dimensions of the stadium. However, some saw the unusual layout as a bonus.
“Yankee Stadium looks, in my opinion, much worse on TV than it does in person, and I love my seats there in section 135 of the fans section,” NYC FC fan Björn Bellenbaum told the Guardian in May. “I take my kids to games, they’re teenagers now, but for the first few years, standing room/general admission wasn’t really an option. But we’re getting into this because we want to be close to the fan section, so the seating area under the stands is excellent and frankly, it wouldn’t be like that in a football stadium.”
The failure of the club to find a permanent home in one of the world’s largest sports markets during the first seven years of its existence was seen by many as an embarrassment to the team and MLS. This discussion now seems to be over: the project is expected to be completed in 2027.