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MLS at Yankee Stadium? Not so fast, Mayor Bloomberg says!

Jul 16, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT

Yankee Stadium 2

While David Beckham continues to take us to the edge MLS expansion news without actually making any news about the league’s 21st franchise – well, we think he does … the source is The Sun, after all – there are important developments happening around MLS No. 20. That’s the expansion club that actually exists, still in initial prep for a ballyhooed 2015 takeoff.

A day ago, one prominent New York news figure, none other than Mayor Michael Bloomberg himself, let slip that that big-time professional soccer’s first “club in the five boroughs since the 1970s” would call Yankee Stadium home.

Sound the news alarm bells! New York City FC has a home!

Only, not so much. The New York Times helped set things straight today. What The Times’ Sam Borden got from Bloomberg deputy press secretary Julie Wood:

The script for the mayor’s radio address on Sunday overstated the possibility that the New York Football Club could play some games at Yankee Stadium while they search for a permanent home. No decision has been made on where they will play. Wherever they end up, we are thrilled to welcome Major League Soccer to New York City, where pro sports are creating jobs and pumping millions into our economy.”

Oh … well. So, what did Beckham say again?

Seriously, let’s hope this is the case. Major League Soccer keeps improving its footing in the United States, and the steady improvement in venues is one reason. Getting away from renter status and into some proper facilities, ones that announce “you may now take us seriously,” has been essential in professional soccer’s gradual climb into greater relevancy.

We know that initially NYC FC will have to find a suitable, temporary home – but Yankee Stadium is the least appealing option in my mind. It’s harder to be taken seriously when you’re seen as an afterthought, playing a far distant second fiddle to the established neighborhood giants.

Even a much smaller, temporary home that would allow New York City FC to begin establishing its own identity and culture would be far preferable to Yankee Stadium. Think of little brother trying to establish his own mark in the world, something different than his highly successful big bro – all while wearing the old hand-me-downs and moving through the same schools as the heralded sibling. That’s a tough ask.

Plus, the soccer will stink. Yankee Stadium cannot accommodate a full-sized field. Small fields lead to matches that fall somewhere between reliably un-stylish, unattractive and just plain crappy. That’s the last thing this franchise needs as sophisticated soccer fans from the market wonder over to check out Major League Soccer’s new kid on the block.

(MORE: Possible temporary homes for New York City FC)

(MORE: Finding a stadium for NYCFC might be tougher than you think)

  1. danielofthedale - Jul 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    If not Yankee Stadium then where? If they want the team to play in NYC proper where else could they play? The Columbia football stadium is the only other place I can think and if they (Columbia and NYCFC) both agree to beef that up to a 25k stadium that would be the best place for the team call home for the long term. But if not there where? I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that this team never finds a permanent home in NYC and they have to go out to Long Island or Jersey to build a stadium.

  2. cheuner - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I’m sitting here watching CR vs USA with my Costa Rican wife and I’m hoping for a commercial so I can tune the channel to the All Star game for a bit. I realize now there are no commercials during a soccer game only annoying pop-ups on the screen. Why not have commercials and resume the game play via tape delay after each commercial. Live play could easily be caught up during half time. Commercials would make the game more profitable, leading to more revenue, bigger stadiums, happier playes, and bigger consumer interest. For now I’ll route for USA till the half then tune to the baseball game.

    • steves4 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      I can honestly say that this is the first time that I’ve ever heard someone advocate for MORE commercials. Amazing. Simply amazing.

      • cheuner - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        not more. just spread them out a bit over the broadcast. I agree that MLS is boring though compared to the international matches. USA 1 – CRC 0!

    • mdac1012 - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      “Why not have commercials and resume the game play via tape delay after each commercial. Live play could easily be caught up during half time.”

      Without a doubt the dumbest comment I have ever read on this forum and that takes in A LOT of ground!

    • dhoffmannjr - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Is this a serious comment? Did your Costa Rican wife slap you after you asked her this. If you want to watch the All-Star game then watch the All-Star game. It’s 2013, you can stream almost anything on the web. Or just buy another TV, something cheap. Commercials during game play? Jesus H. Christ.

  3. brad9000 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Yet another of a plethora of reasons ny2 was a horrible idea and why I gave up on MLS. Stick another team without a home I a saturated market while leaving the entire southeast without a team. NOTE: a team in Miami or Orlando still leaves a massive hole of America without a team in reasonable driving distance

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