Ever since it was announced by New York City FC that the team would be forced to play their September 23rd “home game” in Hartford, Connecticut — some 100 miles away from current home Yankee Stadium -- due to a scheduling conflict with the New York Yankees, the powers-that-be have seemingly doubled down on their attempts at procuring the team their own stadium grounds. After years of speculation, upper management has been reported to have finally made a notable move. And it might not be the one fans were expecting. Or even want.
According to Newsday.com, sources close to the situation have said that NYCFC will put in a bid to build a soccer-specific stadium at Belmont Park, a site that City Football Group, 80% majority owners of the team, showed interest in back in August.
If true, this request would come right before the state’s deadline for bids on the property, which will be on Thursday at 2 PM. The winning proposal will be selected by Empire State Development, the state’s primary business development agency, in the coming months.
While it’s encouraging to hear some real news regarding a stadium in New York, this proposal, if legitimate, will not be without at least some blowback from fans of the Bronx Blues.
Shortly after “Hartfordgate” came to be, club President Jon Patricof held meetings with New York City supporters regarding the current situation as it pertains to building a stadium in the Five Burroughs. During said meetings, Patricoff informed fans that they were seriously considering making a move for property in either Queens and the Bronx. By then, news had already broke about NYCFC architects visiting the Belmont Park site. Resonding to the negative reception the site had received from fans, Patricof assured supporters that building a stadium in Belmont was not something the club was seriously considering due to accessibility issues, as well as the short deadline to submit a bid for the land available.
Newsday’s sources corroborated these reports, saying that Belmont Park, which sits on the border of Queens and Nassau County, Long Island, is not the club’s preferred choice when it comes to stadium location, and that the club is still exploring its options in the Bronx and Queens.
The source also stated, however, that the club may feel inclined to put in a bid due to the land being pre-designated for sports and entertainment development.
How do you feel about club potentially bidding on the Belmont site? Let us know down in the comments.