Last year, after NYCFC won their first MLS championship Cup with a memorable run in the playoffs they celebrated at City Hall in Manhattan. No ticker tape parade as the COVID pandemic was still a concern to city officials.
Then NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, on the podium said as he handed out Keys to the City, the championship would stand in the annals of NYC sports history, the first title for a major team here since the Yankees World Series championship in 2009.
And that run came as NYCFC, in a league that just signed a multi-billion dollar streaming network with Apple TV, saw a dedicated and loyal fan base travel to three home venues at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, and Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, New Jersey
NYCFC never had a venue they could call home, though the Yankees with a limited financial interest, did their best and accommodated match dates in the Bronx in between the MLB season. Yankee Stadium was their home field, but not a soccer venue and accessible for fans.
NYCFC players come and go and always comment that Yankee Stadium was their home. Last month as their season came to a conclusion, with a brief playoff run and quest for another MLS Cup coming to a halt, they commented about the comfort and soccer atmosphere at Citi Field.
Regardless, this still isn’t home. Fans of NYCFC said numerous times they were frustrated. Season ticket holders played guessing games. Was the next match in the Bronx, across the bridge in Queens, or fighting traffic on the GW Bridge to Harrison, or taking a long commute on public transit. And a few times more of a predicament of using a college situated soccer field up in Connecticut. which furthered a cause that NYCFC needed a permanent venue fit for soccer.
This was pure economics with city officials, NYCFC higher-ups, and the MLS. When would NYCFC finally say they had a permanent home? Well after years of discussion and dozens of false hopes, Wednesday at a City Hall extravaganza it all came to fruition.
NYCFC can finally say, home sweet home. Officials unveiled a massive project to erect the city’s first professional soccer stadium that will be union constructed and privately financed with estimated costs totaling $750 million, fully paid by the football club.
True, a massive undertaking but a long time coming and next door in proximity to Citi Field. Construction will commence in 2024 and be completed in 2027, but NYCFC will function a few more years with the inconvenience of dealing with home venues for their MLS matches.
Hey, the wait was worth it because eventually NYCFC can say, home sweet home. The area around Citi Field with the US National Tennis Center essentially becomes a sports complex, first of a kind in New York City.
The economic development also creates jobs before and after. The new soccer venue will have a capacity of 25,000 which also becomes home sweet home for the loyal NYCFC fan base.
“Our club has been investing in New York City for over a decade, and we are eager to invest these funds to help build a new community for our first team, our dedicated fans, and our great city,” said Marty Edelman, vice chairman of NYCFC.
Photo courtesy of Katie Cahalin
Here are more details that make up this massive and collaborative effort to finally say, NYCFC is home sweet home:
–2,500 units of 100% affordable houses
-650 seated public school
-16,500+ total jobs created from construction and operations
-250 Key Hotel
-115,000 square feet of open space
“This is just another step toward this vision that we want our clubs to be embedded in the community that’s accessible to fans,” said Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.
Cushing Lifts Interim Tag: Nick Cushing took over the head coaching reins mid season and it was a rough start, but this week the interim tag was lifted with his appointment to lead NYCFC ahead of the 2023 MLS season.
Cushing took over as the Club’s Interim Head Coach in June after the departure of former Head Coach Ronny Deila. Under Cushing’s guidance, the Boys in Blue finished third in the Eastern Conference and made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, becoming only the third team since 2010 to reach the Conference Finals the season after winning MLS Cup.
“From the moment I arrived in New York in 2020, I have been really inspired by this City and by the energy in our Club. To have the responsibility of taking this incredible Football Club forward and lead the team and to continue to be successful is what I am really excited about,” Cushing said.
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