By Michael Lewis
There could be fans at New York City FC games at Yankee Stadium this Major League Soccer season.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that large arenas and stadiums can reopen soon in the state for sports and entertainment at 10 percent of their normal capacity.
Spectators have been banned from stadiums and arenas in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic since last March.
For the stadium, that could come out to about 5,000 fans. The venue has a seating capacity of 54,251, although about 30,000 is usually reserved for soccer. So, depending on which figure one uses, the capacity could come down to 3,000 for NYCFC matches.
On Wednesday, MLS announced its 34-game season would kick off April 17.
That New York news was welcomed by MLS commissioner Don Garber.
“I am encouraged by Gov. Cuomo’s announcement and his optimism,” Cuomo said during an afternoon ZOOM conference call with the media. “We obviously are anxiously awaiting more details.”
MLS has another team in the tri-state area – the Red Bulls, who call Harrison, N.J. home.
“We have not heard anything from the state of New Jersey,” Garber said. “But the more optimistic and positive news that come out of state houses for our league and the rest of the sports industry is something that we are anxiously. waiting for.”