Citi Field - soccer

NEW YORK – New York City FC’s stop in Queens might not be a one-off.

The club will play there on Decision Day presented by AT&T and there’s a possibility that if NYCFC host an Eastern Conference Knockout Round match – potentially against the New York Red Bulls – that the game could also be held at the New York Mets’ Citi Field.

“It’s probably a little early for me to say definitively, but it’s safe to say that Citi Field is certainly an option and it’s something we’re considering,” NYCFC president Jon Patricof said on Tuesday. “We’ll continue to explore other alternatives.”

NYCFC moved their Decision Day showdown with Columbus Crew SC on Sunday (4 pm ET; MLS LIVE) from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to Citi Field in Queens because of the Yankees' advancement to the American League Championship Series. The Yankees currently lead that seven-game series 3 games to 2, needing one more victory to advance to the baseball World Series. The first two games of the World Series would take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

NYCFC will clinch the second-seed in the East and avoid the Knockout Round with a win on Sunday. A draw would put them in peril of playing in the Knockout Round, while a loss would guarantee that they’d play and potentially host a Knockout Round match.

Sunday’s match is the second time in the final two months of the season that NYCFC have needed an alternative home field after they played their Sept. 23 regular season match against Houston at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn. due to a rescheduled Yankees game.

Patricof said NYCFC has made a point of informing fans about venue changes as soon as possible and will continue to have an open dialogue with supporters. In fact, Patricof said he met with a group of fans on Monday night on the topic.

“We’re trying to be as open as possible about the process, but at the same time everyone recognizes we’re juggling a lot of different factors,” Patricof said. “The response about Citi Field has generally been pretty positive.”

Patricof cited Citi Field’s accessibility to public transportation – the No. 7 line, which was originally not scheduled to run from Manhattan to Flushing on Sunday, will now do so – and ample parking as two of the biggest positives for Sunday’s match.

The working relationship with baseball's New York Mets, owners of Citi Field, could come in handy in the future. With the Yankees looking likely to be regular playoff participants in the coming years, Patricof said NYCFC realizes more scheduling conflicts are probably also on the horizon.

“Going forward we’re going to absolutely have even more investment of time in contingency planning,” Patricof said. “The Yankees are obviously building an incredible team. … This is something we’ve thought about before and it’s now become a reality. We’re going to have to continue to put a lot of effort and time into planning out alternate venues when Yankee Stadium is not available.”

Of course, the multi-million-dollar question is when will NYCFC have their own soccer-specific stadium to avoid schedule conflicts? The team has put in a bid at Belmont Park, just outside the New York City borders in Nassau County, and it continues to investigate locations inside the five boroughs, including Queens and the Bronx.

“Everyone is focused on us getting a soccer-specific stadium. The club is totally committed to that search,” Patricof said. “I think people have seen we’re making good progress in that search. We know that is something all of our fans feel strongly about."