Sims wrote that they’re “plus or minus four years out” from the desired venue opening once they enter the public approval process. Navigating the New York City real estate environment has its challenges, and Sims stressed that support from local leaders and elected officials will be crucial.
“Despite all of the obvious challenges we’ve faced and continue to face, City Football Group and NYCFC is fully committed to building and investing in NYC,” Sims wrote. “NYCFC will ultimately spend significantly more for our stadium than any other MLS ownership group has for theirs.”
Since entering MLS as an expansion team in 2015, NYCFC have mainly played home matches at Yankee Stadium. They’ve emerged as one of the Eastern Conference’s most consistent clubs, resulting in support that Sims believes will translate from their current Bronx roots to a future soccer-specific stadium.
“We strongly believe we are in a great place and are projecting growth every year moving forward as we head down the path to our own soccer-specific stadium,” Sims wrote.
In the meantime, NYCFC are handling scheduling and availability issues with Yankee Stadium in 2021. COVID-19 pandemic protocols and general changeover timelines with the MLB’s New York Yankees (co-tenant) mean they’ll play nine of 17 regular-season home games at Yankee Stadium, starting with an April 24 match against FC Cincinnati.
NYCFC’s eight other regular-season home games are scheduled to be played at Red Bull Arena. They spent part of 2020 playing at the New York Red Bulls’ soccer-specific stadium, so there’s some inherent familiarity.
“From a competitive standpoint, Red Bull Arena does check a number of the boxes that we require,” Sims wrote. “We believe we’re best positioned to win games when we have consistency of player routine – including playing on certain days of the week and the same amount of rest between matches. Winning must always be the priority and as we certainly proved last season, we believe that our team can and will win matches at Red Bull Arena.”
For more from Sims, check out the entire Q&A here.