NYCFC CEO Brad Sims gives new stadium promise
By Chris Smith
New York City FC supporters have been given a promise of a long-awaited new stadium by club CEO Brad Sims.
The Cityzens have been forced to play at Yankee Stadium since entering Major League Soccer in 2015. Fixture clashes with the New York Yankees have even forced them to play at Citi Field and Red Bull Area - the home of their Hudson River derby rivals, the New York Red Bulls.
The club have often been mocked for the strange layout inside Yankee Stadium, with a notoriously narrow soccer pitch wedged onto a baseball field and the haphazard placing of supporters in the stands.
But things may be about to change. During their MLS Cup celebrations outside City Hall on Tuesday afternoon - where NYCFC players were given the keys to the city by Mayor Bill de Blasio - Sims made a pledge after having his speech interrupted by chants of "we want a stadium" from supporters.
“I’m here today to promise you that we will not stop pursuing trophies and we will definitely build you a stadium,” Sims said (via MLSsoccer.com). “It’s a promise.”
Sims' promise comes shortly after it emerged that plans are in place to bring Pep Guardiola to NYCFC once he leaves Manchester City.
The Spaniard's current deal at the Etihad Stadium runs until 2023 and, as reported by 90min, it's understood this could be the point where he departs European soccer for MLS. But sources have also indicated appointing Guardiola alongside the opening of a new soccer-specific stadium would be the desired move for NYCFC.
Prior to NYCFC's MLS Cup triumph over the Portland Timbers, league commissioner Don Garber expressed his confidence that the club will finally find a home of their own, though he did stress the need for patience finding space in the tight confines of New York.
“The situation in New York as you know continues to evolve,” he said (via Front Row Soccer). “The ownership group is focused they continue to work in a variety of different opportunities. You’ve read about those. There’s no secret to what both their challenges are and what their opportunities are.
“I harken back to getting asked this question. In D.C. it took them 20 years to build out a field. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to take that long with NYCFC, but we’ve got to get it right. It’s not easy to build stadiums in large cities, and New York is the largest in our league. So, I’m confident in time they’ll be able to have a stadium of their own I hope I’m still commissioner at that time.”