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New York City FC's stadium dream is nearly a reality. Here's what we know.

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On the heels of NYCFC's venue-focused fan survey and the Yankees' credit boost, the architectural firm Populous is making noise in New York. And their top man could be the one to answer all of our prayers.

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*Clears throat*

WHO IS JONATHAN MALLIE?

The quick answer: he's a Florida Gator and Columbia Lion who leads the New York office of Populous, a major architectural firm. He's worked on design projects with, among countless others, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Brooklyn Nets.

The hopeful answer: given a recent confluence of events, Mallie figures to be a prime mover in the dizzying pursuit of a stadium New York City FC can finally, truly call its home.

First, let's establish a curious chronology of relevant events:

  • JANUARY 6: Jon Patricof, a media executive and New York native, was announced as the next President of NYCFC, a role much more concerned with business than day-to-day soccering.

  • JANUARY 25: The company that runs the New York Yankees (20% owners of NYCFC) nearly doubled its credit limit, which an inside source linked to a potential deal for a soccer stadium site.

  • FEBRUARY 2: New York City FC and "a third-party company" sent season ticket holders a survey gauging various preferences about a soccer-specific venue in the Five Boroughs.

  • FEBRUARY 3: Populous announces its new office in Manhattan, to be led by Jonathan Mallie. The architect joins Twitter and immediately follows NYCFC and Empire of Soccer, which put together an excellent roundup of the preliminary details we're exploring today. Mallie retweets the story, one of only three original tweets he has made to date.
Hear that? That, right there, is the sound of your dreams pouring two glasses of prosecco and slipping into something more comfortable.

Let's unpack these bullet points, starting with the survey sent to New York City season ticket holders earlier this week. Here's the opening salvo:

StadiumSurvey

We've never seen this level of detail from the club or any of its proxies up to this point, including questions pertaining to potential venue amenities, gauging acceptable commute times, preferred modes of transportation, a seemingly wild stab at ticket pricing options, and -- hold me -- an inquiry about a safe standing supporter section.

Safe standing?!? YES! REALLY! For it hath been foretold....

We're more than confident that the timing of this never-before-seen level of detail and fan outreach on the stadium front is absolutely not a coincidence.

But let's talk about Jonathan Mallie.

Populous, which is totally our new favorite architectural firm, is no stranger to Major League Soccer stadium projects, and Mallie was also one of the designers behind the billion-dollar Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. As if that weren't enough to force a smile the size of Queens, Populous handled NYCFC parent club Manchester City's most recent expansion of the Etihad Stadium.

But there's one additional reason why Populous is in pole position to make New York City's next home stadium a reality:


Yes, reasonable doubts about whether the dream is phasing its way into reality are falling away, basically in real-time. Throw all this in with the timing of the fan survey, the deep connections new President Jon Patricof holds in the New York business and media scenes, and the Yankees looking like they're gearing up to make a major buy, it isn't just that the writing is on the wall-- the writing may already be on a big, fat check.

Stay tuned to HRB for all the latest on the sensational soccer-specific stadium super saga ("S6"). Until then, we'll leave you with one very curious retweet from Mallie yesterday, co-starring one of the O.G.-est associates we've got:


What was it that Stringer Bell said to Avon Barksdale in the third season of The Wire?