New York City FC will play their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Yankee Stadium, the club announced on Monday at a press conference at the stadium.
“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.”
Yankee Stadium is no stranger to soccer games. In recent years, it has hosted a series of international soccer matches featuring some of the top clubs from around the world. It will also host a match between NYCFC sister club Manchester City and Liverpool on July 30.
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Per a release, NYCFC's 2015 home schedule will not have an impact on the schedule of the stadium's primary tenants, Major League Baseball's New York Yankees.
“By hosting the New York City FC for its inaugural season, Yankee Stadium will be hosting a very special chapter in sports history,” Yankees president Randy Levine said in a statement. “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.”
Photo renderings of the New York City FC field at Yankee Stadium were also revealed Monday (right).
According to Yankees chief operation officer Lonn A. Trost, the stadium will be downsized from its current capacity of 49,642 seats to 33,444 seats for MLS matches. The field will be 110 yards by 70 yards. Conversion of the stadium from baseball to soccer, and vice versa, takes three days.
There were no specifics given on how long the NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium beyond 2015 – "We're not putting any timetables on it," Levine said – but the club is continuing to seek a permanent solution within the five boroughs that make up New York City proper.
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"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.
In the meantime, NYCFC – who recently unveiled the team’s official badge, an homage to the city's old subway tokens – will play their home games in the Bronx.
" will be the first MLS season to be played in New York City," Pernetti said.
On Monday, NYCFC also announced that season tickets are now on sale.