A late-afternoon bombshell dropped in the Metro section titled “Mayor Eric Adams to approve NYCFC stadium for Queens: sources” by By Josh Kosman and Bernadette Hogan sketches out plans to build a 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in the Special Willets Point District, a 61-acre tract of land that abuts Citi Field. The article states that the mayor is “expected to announce that he is onboard” with the proposal.
To be clear, no official announcement has been made. The article cites an anonymous source as stating that “a deal is close, but negotiations are ongoing.”
You can read the full article here.
Even if the Post piece is little more than a teaser, it has been the latest tantalizing piece of information to surface in recent weeks. First, there were the tweets posted by the official account of New York City FC Associate Partnership, which offers sponsorship packages to local mid-sized businesses: Some members of the NYCFC nation noticed that a number of those associate partners are in the construction business, which seems like an odd fit for a soccer club — unless you’re a soccer club that’s about to build a stadium.
Then The Outfield published a story that connects New York City FC with a proposal to build a soccer-specific stadium at Harlem River Yards, the 28-acre site in the South Bronx slated for mixed-use development.
The following week, rumors linked NYCFC to Randall’s Island in the East River, and the possibility of renovating Ichan Stadium to be used as a temporary home for the club while a permanent soccer-specific stadium is built. The need for a temporary solution could be intensified by the new television deal MLS signed with Apple+ that will require all league games to be played on a Saturday or a Wednesday: No more Sunday games for NYCFC, which has to work around the schedules of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
And now this latest twist in NYCFC’s long, warped journey to building a soccer-specific stadium. Does the Post article, with its single anonymous source, pass the smell test? On the one hand, Adams has been a visible supporter of NYCFC, and a ribbon-cutting is always a good look for a mayor. On the other, NYCFC’s interest in Harlem River Yards seemed compelling.
The Stadium Saga isn’t about to end, but maybe this is a sneak peek at the start of a draft of the beginning of the final chapter.