On August 31st, NYCFC opened its self-titled "NYCFC House," located at 446 West 14th Street.
Just steps from the the High Line, the House is essentially a fancy pop-up shop.
When you walk in, you are greeted with a "red carpet" of artificial turf. The walls are adorned with photos of players like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, as well as photos of raucous supporters from matches at home and at Red Bull Arena. This year's Stadium Series scarves, including the fan designed August 6th one, hang from the ceiling.
In terms of merch, the House is clad with store-exclusive gear, including a scarf, jersey patches, and two t-shirts.
Additional standard gear is available, including this year's kits, additional scarves, hoodies, and hats. The Mitchell & Ness merchandise, both with and without Third Rail branding, is available as well.
In the back of the store, there is a massive NYCFC logo display on the floor, surrounded by seats that appear ripped from at NYCFC stadium that doesn't exist yet. In the corner, there is a little ticket display aimed at recruiting new season ticket holders. As advertised out front of the store, tickets are currently 10% off in celebration of Labor Day weekend.
While the roof aspect of the complex has been heavily advertised on the team's social media, it is, alas, a private space inaccessible by the general public.
The crowd was a heavily mixed one, with shoppers ranging from young athletes extorting gear from their parents to businesspeople and the more than occasional tourist.
One middle-aged professional stood in the store for about 20 minutes, trying to decide which House-exclusive t-shirt to buy.
He bought both.
The bottom line: if you're an NYCFC fan, you'll enjoy the space, but you won't necessarily be amazed. My recommendation would be to coordinate your visit with one of the advertised events, such as chalk talks with Patrick Vieira, in order to maximize your experience. I unfortunately wasn't able to do so, as I was only back home in NYC for under 24 hours, as I trekked back from upstate for last night’s USA World Cup Qualifier.
If you have the opportunity to coordinate your visit, definitely do so. If you're a diehard fan and work or love on the area, you'll enjoy the space. Either way, it's nice to see the club expand its brand and image in the midst of its stadium pursuit.
UPCOMING EVENTS @ NYCFC HOUSE
- TODAY, 5PM: “Being a Manager in MLS” with Patrick Vieira
- SUNDAY 9/3 6:15PM: “Data & Analytics in Soccer” with NYCFC Performance Analyst Dan Fradley
- TUESDAY 9/5, 12:00PM: “Designing City Football Academy New York & Other World Leading Sports Facilities” with architect Rafael Vinoly