The new developments regarding New York City FC supposedly being “close” to a stadium deal have definitely caught fans’ attention this week. Unfortunately, it hasn’t done much to curtail supporters’ frustrations over playing their first-ever CONCACAF Champions League home match in their rivals’ house in New Jersey.
On Saturday, many supporter groups attached to NYCFC — Third Rail and New York City SC being among them — released a joint statement expressing anger over how the situation has been handled by the club. In it, the threat of not being in attendance of the home leg against San Carlos is discussed.
The statement reads as follows:
“New York City FC’s supporters’ groups are extremely disappointed to hear that NYCFC’S February 26 CONCACAF Champions League ‘home’ match will be played at Red Bull Arena, the home of our local rivals in Harrison, New Jersey.
“Playing a home match in our rival’s stadium and contributing to them financially is unacceptable to our respective members and fellow fans. NYCFC’s Front Office is yet again asking its fans to travel outside New York City for a competitive home match, without providing us with meaningful updates on our nearly sever-year search for a permanent home inside the five boroughs. Yesterday’s announcement is the latest and bitterest setback in a secretive stadium search on which fans have not been updated and has yielded little tangible success. While we have been regularly promised a permanent home since NYCFC’s inception, by NYCFC executives and their ticket sales staff, we have been left in the dark on this search, expected to endure this silence, and are now regularly being asked to travel to ‘home’ matches, including to our rival’s stadium. We are tired of NYCFC’s evasive and opaque communications strategy that continues to foster distrust with an increasingly frustrated fan base.
“NYCFC supporters are evaluating all of our options for the match on 2/26 including, boycotts, in-stadium demonstrations, and protests. Our goal is, and always will be, to support our players, but our message to NYCFC’s Front Office is clear: playing in our rival’s stadium is unacceptable to your fan base, we need transparent communication, and we need action on a permanent home.”
The statement is signed by Third Rail, NYCSC, Los Templados 12, NYC12, Bronx Football Social Club, and Minervas and also comes on the heels of other protests made last week by fans of NYCFC, including one group of fans that displayed a banner that read “Homeless” outside of a team function at Times Square featuring NYCFC CEO Brad Sims and newly appointed manager Ronny Deila.
I’m in Times Square for an #NYCFC fan event with CEO Brad Sims and coach Ronny Deila, outside the event is this group of fans unhappy with the club’s stadium situation. #MLS pic.twitter.com/moaIAqg10w— Ryan Gerbosi (@RyanGerbosi) February 6, 2020
A lot of this news surfaced before NYCFC made an official statement regarding the stadium situation on Saturday. Still, is it enough?