Apr 21, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Yankee Stadium will be the venue for New York City FC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer, the club announced Monday.
“We are thrilled to call Yankee Stadium our first home for New York City FC,” NYCFC chief business officer Tim Pernetti said in a statement. “Yankee Stadium is one of the world’s most legendary sports venues and a great and accessible location for fans.
“There is no better place for New York City FC to kick off our historic first season in MLS and we look forward to hosting soccer fans across all five boroughs, and beyond at Yankee Stadium next year.”
NYCFC, whose first season in MLS will be in 2015, will share the stadium with the primary tenant, the New York Yankees.
Yankees president Randy Levine welcomed the soccer club in a statement.
“By hosting the New York City FC for its inaugural season, Yankee Stadium will be hosting a very special chapter in sports history. The Yankees are pleased to welcome New York City FC, all of its players and its fans, to our home, and believe the team’s dynamic presence in 2015 will make the stadium the most vibrant venue in the world.”
Lonn A. Trost, Yankees chief operation officer, discussed the re-shaping of the stadium for MLS matches from 49,642 seats to 33,444 seats. The pitch, which takes three days to convert between baseball and soccer games, will be 110 yards by 70 yards.
When asked about how long NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, Levine refused to answer. “We’re not putting any timetables on it,” the Yankees president said. Pernetti noted, however, that a soccer-specific stadium is in the club’s plans.
“It’s been no secret that our plans all along are to do a deal to build a soccer-specific stadium within the five boroughs,” Pernetti said. “We are continuing to do that. We’re conducting the same thorough search and developing our plans. Our goal is to be in a soccer-specific building as soon as possible. We’re going to take our time to get it right.”
“When we open the doors to a soccer-specific stadium in this city, it will be spectacular,” he added.
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