Now that the MLB lockout dust has settled and the guardians of the national pastime have agreed on how to best divide the estimated $1.8 billion they earn in annual television revenue, we can finally address the question on the minds of every sports fan in North America: How will the late start to the baseball season affect New York City FC’s MLS schedule?
It turns out not one bit.
The MLB delay forces every team to reschedule their first two series of the season. For the New York Yankees (the other team that calls Yankee Soccer Stadium home), that means moving an away series against the Texas Rangers to October, and splitting an away series against the Houston Astros to dates in June and July. None of those games will alter the home schedule of the Yankees or NYCFC.
For the New York Mets, a two-game series at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves was rescheduled as two day-night double-headers tacked onto existing games. A three-game series against the Washington Nationals was moved to March 31-April 3. None of those games will change the matches NYCFC at Citi Field.
However, NYCFC did move the game against DC United scheduled for Citi Field on Saturday, April 9 at 5 pm ET to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, August 31 at 8 pm ET. According to a statement issued by the club, moving the game will “allow better preparation for the prestigious” CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal matchup against Seattle Sounders. NYCFC will play the Sounders in Seattle on Wednesday, April 6, then host the Sounders at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, April 13.
In other words, moving the United will allow NYCFC to catch a break: New York City have yet to play a match at home on full rest for this year. The second leg against Seattle will be the first time a rested NYCFC will take the field in front of a friendly crowd in 2022. Fair enough.