Borough battle: Bronx president ready to compete with Queens for NYCFC stadium | THE SIDELINE
Even after the May announcement of Major League Soccer's 20th team, New York City FC, nearly two years remain before the expansion club begins play in MLS. For now, the club's plans for a home stadium, which are still undetermined, continue to be the biggest talking point.
We already know that NYCFC will play at a temporary home in the New York area for "two years, maybe three" when they join the league in 2015. Now we also know that there's legitimate competition and lobbying within the city to land what is expected to be a $340 million soccer stadium, funded by NYCFC's owners.
Before unveiling NYCFC, the MLS league office spent several months working with local officials on a stadium proposal for Flushing Meadows Corona Park area. But NYCFC's owners, which include baseball's New York Yankees, are now in charge of the stadium search and the newest development comes in the form of an open letter, drafted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to MLS Commissioner Don Garber, in which Diaz states his desire to bring the world's game to his borough.
It's a bold play by Diaz, who makes it clear that his "office is ready to assist in this endeavor" to bring the soccer stadium to the Bronx. And he lays down the gauntlet in the battle with Queens, stating: "It would appear that there is little enthusiasm for world class soccer in Queens."
While that is likely not entirely the case, the sooner a stadium deal within the city limits is agreed upon and shovels go into the ground, the better, for everyone involved in NYCFC. Whichever the borough.
New Yorkers, future NYCFC fans, current Red Bulls fans - where does this stadium need to be? What works best for everybody — NYCFC, Red Bulls and the sport in general?