By Michael Lewis
With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing many sports leagues and organizations plans back at least a year, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said Wednesday that there were no updates as to when a new stadium site for New York City FC would be determined.
During an afternoon Zoom call with the media, Garber said he remained optimistic about NYCFC finding a new home. NYCFC will begin its seventh season at Yankee Stadium since joining the league as an expansion team in 2015.
When asked about a stadium update, Garber replied, “I don’t have anything to add. I remember saying this on press conferences for 10 years. I would be asked questions about Miami and I would say I remain optimistic because I knew conversations were going on and we just needed to ensure we had everything put together in a way like in Miami’s case where we have a great team with great ownership, great temporary facility and optimism about their plans in Miami Freedom Park
“I feel the same way about New York.”
Garber praised NYCFC CFO Ferran Soriano and vice chairman Marty Edelman, saying that there were “as active on the MLS board as any ownership group on a wide varsity of different committees. We continue to talk about how we can work together to try to get that stadium over the finish line.
“I can’t think of a better person negotiating that than Marty Edelman and I know those discussions and negotiations continue. But I don’t have any firm date or anything close to that to be able to add to that.”
Garber also nixed any possibilities of Canadian clubs called Yankee Stadium home this season. Toronto FC, FC Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will start the MLS season playing in the United States due to the pandemic differences and restrictions between the United States and Canada.
“I think it is more difficult for our Canadian clubs to go down and play at Yankee Stadium,” he said. “Hang in there. We’re really close to be able [to say] where our Canadian clubs will be able to play, but Yankee Stadium isn’t one of the locations we’ve been considering.”
Since the Yankees call the stadium home, NYCFC’s schedule is planned around the baseball team’s home games. Having two soccer teams sharing the stadium would be difficult to pull off.