New York City F.C., an expansion MLS team set to launch next season, will play its home games at Yankee Stadium for three years, The New York Times reported, citing two people close to the situation.
The team, owned in part by the Yankees and Manchester City of the Premier League, is expected to make it official next week.
This is a temporary solution for the club, which doesn't have a stadium beyond the three-year agreement with the Yankees. Despite repeated promises, according to the report, the team missed a number of deadlines outlining a stadium plan. The Times reported that not only has the indecision stalled the attraction to potential fans, its delayed marketing and ticket sale efforts as well.
Logistically, this agreement could be a nightmare. MLS has 34 regular season games, 17 at home, and its season runs from early March through late October, same as the MLB season.
Would the field be able to accommodate 22 cleated players tearing up the outfield grass? What would the dimensions of the field be? How would groundskeepers cover up the infield?
“Technology has gotten to the point where I think we can turn it around pretty quickly,” said Mark Holzman, the director of non-baseball related events for the Yankees.
“Baseball is clearly the No. 1 priority. We wouldn't do anything to put anyone at risk. There's a major investment here in the players. At the end of the day, we look at these opportunities very carefully, and we wouldn't get into these opportunities unless we were confident in the end result.”