By Michael Lewis
New York City FC being forced to play its Sept. 23 against the Houston Dynamo away from Yankee Stadium isn’t the first time a soccer game was zapped at the baseball park.
In 1968, the Yankees refused to allow the New York Generals to play its National Professional Soccer League game due to rain on April 24 of that year.
That’s when the Yankees exercised their option and did not allow the General to host the Oakland Clippers that night.
According to The New York Times, stadium manager George Stallings called the field “a sopping mess.”
The baseball team also exercised yet another option as it refused to allow the soccer club to reschedule the game for April 25.
Gerald Eskenazi of The Times reported that there was a clause in the soccer team’s rental contract that forbade the field to be used for soccer matches within 48 hours of a baseball game. The Yankees were to return from a road trip April 26 to begin hosting the Detroit Tigers for a weekend series.
It seems the clause was written by Generals general manager Bill Bergesch, who was the stadium GM before he joined the soccer team in 1967.