New York City FC say they're nearing deal on training facility, still no news on permanent stadium

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – They have David Villa. They have Frank Lampard. But do New York City FC finally have a practice facility?

According to Tim Pernetti, the club's chief business officer, that might be finalized sooner than later.

“We are still looking at a couple of different options on a training facility,” he said Thursday during Lampard's introduction press conference. “We are not ready to talk about where we are going to go yet. We are trying to get some things ironed out, but we expect to have an answer pretty soon.”

NYCFC thought they had that answer a few months ago when the club announced Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., would be the team’s practice home. In the five-year plan announced in late April, the expansion team was going to upgrade the gym and soccer fields at the school.

However, a month later, that plan fell apart because of a lawsuit by the Purchase Environmental Protective Association.

Pernetti didn’t go into details about the search for a training facility, but the club has been in contact with other colleges while also examining the possibility of building its own grounds.

“We’ve looked at a lot of different spots, but we are focused on the Westchester area right now,” he said. “There are some options to partner up with some universities there and others as well we’re looking at.”

While Pernetti said the practice facility issue might be resolved soon, there is “nothing new to report” on the search for a permanent stadium deal.

“Same boring answer I gave you guys a while back,” he said. “It’s taking some time, but at the same time we want to get it right. We want to take the time necessary to make sure we get it right.”

Pernetti said the desire is to remain within New York City’s five boroughs for the new stadium. For the first year, and maybe a few years beyond that, the team will call Yankee Stadium home.

That’s fine for Lampard, the Chelsea legend. He already had a preview of his new home stadium when the Blues played Manchester City in a preseason friendly last May.

“It’s great. I’m really excited about that,” Lampard said. “I had a great experience playing there, the stadium is magnificent, it’s iconic. You just say the name of it around the world and it means a lot.

"For a soccer team to be able to play there, it gives me great excitement. I don’t think we can ask for a better venue to start this.”