New York City FC will finally have a permanent home after the club announced plans for a 25,000-capacity venue in the Willets Point neighborhood in Queens.
The club announced the partnership with New York City mayor Eric Adams and the Queens Development Group at a press conference on Wednesday. The project will be privately funded and will also include 2,500 units of affordable housing, a hotel and retail space.
The stadium will be in the heart of a sporting district. It will share a subway with the New York Mets’ CitiField and the USTA’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. New York’s other MLS team, the Red Bulls, play in Harrison, New Jersey.
NYC FC joined MLS in 2015 and won MLS Cup last season, but have played most of their home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The baseball venue has been criticized as unsuitable for soccer, with the field sitting awkwardly in the stadium’s dimensions. However, some saw the unconventional layout as a bonus.
“Yankee Stadium looks a lot worse on TV than in person, in my opinion, and I love my seats there in section 135 below the supporters’ section,” NYC FC fan Björn Bellenbaum told the Guardian in May. “I take my kids to the games, they’re teenagers now but for the first few years standing room/general admission wasn’t really an option. But we do get into it so we like to be close to the supporters’ section, so that area of seats below the bleachers is perfect and obviously wouldn’t exist in that way in a soccer stadium.”
The fact that the club was unable to find a permanent home in its first seven years of existence in one of the largest sporting markets in the world was seen by many as an embarrassment to the team and MLS. That argument now appears to be over: the project is expected to be completed by 2027.