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NYCFC could play MLS games at team training grounds

With Yankee Stadium unavailable, club representatives are attempting to keep City in New York

Manchester City Pre-Season Training and Press Conference Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

New York City FC has all but confirmed that Yankee Stadium will not be available for the club in 2020 due to owners and primary tenants the New York Yankees needing it for its accelerated MLB season for the remainder of the year. This has left tons of questions regarding where NYCFC will play their home games should MLS’s plans to restart the season as soon as next week come to fruition.

Of course, Red Bull Arena — home to the rival New York Red Bulls — in Harrison, New Jersey has come to mind seeing as that is where New York City played both their “home” games in the CONCACAF Champions League against San Carlos and Tigres, respectively. New developments, however, indicate that NYCFC is trying to keep their home games in the state of New York.

In an Orangetown town board meeting a few weeks ago, club representative Brian Quinn was seemingly putting the finishing touches on an agreement with city officials to approve of NYCFC using the Etihad City Football Academy — the team’s Orangeburg, NY-based training grounds — for at least “eight games” of the 2020 season due to Yankee Stadium being completely unavailable.

The town board meeting — which was live streamed on Facebook — can be viewed in full below. Quinn’s pitch begins at around the 14:34 mark. If you’re viewing this article through Apple News, the video can be found here.

Town Board Meeting- July 21st, 2020

Posted by Town of Orangetown on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

It is implied that the town board had already approved the temporary installation of several necessities including a visiting locker room and bathrooms to accommodate official league games. Quinn’s presence was seemingly to confirm that the team be allowed to install a press box, broadcast booth, and temporary lighting for broadcasting purposes. The resolution has no plans to include fans at this time pending further developments regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Following Quinn’s pitch, a male member of the board can be heard saying that the proposal is “definitely good”, confirming that the club has permission to install the aforementioned structures to accommodate NYCFC’s league games. Since this board meeting, I have been unable to find any further developments with this story, leading me to assume that NYCFC will in fact be playing in Orangeburg for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year.