HANOVER, N.J. – New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke gave a vote of confience Monday to the latest stadium plans for New York City FC, who have announced they will spend their first season in Major League Soccer at Yankee Stadium.
Petke, a New York native and a Yankees fan himself, said he did not have any concerns about playing in a baseball venue, even though some observers have questioned the expansion team's move to share a facility during the busy summer months in 2015.
“With an organization like the Yankees, who are evolved, they’re not going to put a situation out on the field that’s going to be counterproductive to what they’re trying to accomplish,” Petke said. “I don’t think there will be an issue with the field, to be honest with you.
"I just couldn’t see the Yankees [and] the billionaire [Manchester] City owners, who are heavily invested, putting something out that’s half-assed, I guess you could say, so I expect it not to be an issue at all.”
NYCFC may be a tenant at Yankee Stadium beginning next season, but MLB’s Yankees are still going to be prioritized when it comes to games and scheduling. Still, Petke does not foresee any issues.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t – through the one game a week or one game every couple of weeks they are at home there – do a great job in making it a soccer field,” said Petke. “I think they will, so I don’t think there’s much concern for me about that.”
When asked if he still wears Yankees gear himself, Petke smiled and gave a brief answer.
“My kids do,” Petke quipped. “My kids do.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.