NYCFC Has Potentially Three Changes to Home Schedule
New York City FC has found a home in Queens albeit just for the regular season finale.
For the second time this season, New York City FC will be forced from Yankee Stadium due to a conflict with the New York Yankees who have advanced to Major League Baseball’s American League Championship Series. NYCFC will host Columbus Crew SC in their regular season finale at the home of the New York Mets, Citi Field. Earlier this season, supporters had to take the 100-mile trek to East Hartford, Connecticut for a “home” match versus the Houston Dynamo.
“While we are happy for our partners, the New York Yankees, we understand that relocating a home game is a significant challenge for fans,” said NYCFC President, Jon Patricof. “We feel Citi Field will give our team the best chance of success on the field and provide a good environment for our incredible fans.”
If Game 5 of the ALCS is necessary, the Yankees will host the Houston Astros on Wednesday, October 18. The normal 72-hour window required to convert Yankee Stadium from baseball to soccer will not apply due to additional needs for the MLB Playoffs.
“Citi Field is an excellent ballpark which has hosted international soccer matches in the past,” said Sporting Director, Claudio Reyna. “From a Sporting perspective, this represents an easy transition which would allow our team to get the result we will be looking for.”
As part of the International Champions Cup in 2014, Citi Field hosted A.C. Milan against Olympiacos while the Israeli and Honduran National Teams played a friendly in 2013.
NYCFC will maintain the identical field dimensions set up at Yankee Stadium – 110 x 70 – the same size also used on September 23 when NYCFC played the Dynamo to a 1-1 draw at Pratt and Whitney Stadium. Averaging over 23,000 fans per match at Yankee Stadium, NYCFC drew a little over 10,000 for the inter-conference match.
NYCFC has confirmed that only the lower level of Citi Field will be open which puts capacity at approximately 20,000. The availability of convenient mass transit options also played a role in the choice of Citi Field although the 7 train that is commonly used between Manhattan and Queens will not be operational on October 22 according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority. NYCFC plans to prepare other transportation options for their supporters.
All fans that currently have tickets to the October 22 match will receive an email with ticketing options. Additionally, they will receive access to a special pre-sale to secure tickets to the match at Citi Field at a discounted rate.
NYCFC has pre-emptively rescheduled a potential MLS Eastern Conference semi-final home playoff match from November 5 to November 1 due to the Rutgers University versus University of Maryland wrestling/football doubleheader on November 4. NYCFC was unable to consider Citi Field in this scenario since the Queens ballpark is being converted into a 9-hole golf course between November 3-5 for Stadiumlinks Golf. “The most memorable golf experience on the planet” will include shots from tee boxes constructed in the upper deck.