Today, New York City FC announced the “Citi Field Series” for the upcoming 2020 season, four games that will be played at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets in Queens and the site of their 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinal disaster.
Still lacking a permanent home stadium, the Citi Field Series moves what would be four midweek games at Yankee Stadium to weekend games at Citi Field. The weekends in question are during long home stands for the New York Yankees and long road trips for the Mets.
There is currently no information on who the team will be playing in these games, but that could be changing soon as MLS is set to announce the full 2020 schedule in the coming days. The moving of games to Citi Field is a blow as playing games outside of our “home” ballpark continues.
In the official press release, the team says that “the decision minimizes congestion throughout the season.” NYCFC enters their 6th season still playing at Yankee Stadium as the process of building their own soccer specific stadium has seemed to stall.
Playing games on weekends is a good idea and certainly could lead to larger attendance numbers, but moving said games to another venue could cancel that out. I personally am in favor of weekend games but playing them in a different stadium in a different borough creates problems. It’s interesting to see the team branding it as “Citi Field Series,” glossing over the fact that the team is essentially being given the boot from the House That Jeter Built by the Yankees due to their own schedule congestion.
We can only hope that NYCFC will soon have a stadium to call its own so that situations like this become a thing of the past.