By Michael Lewis
Stadium update? Ah, don’t ask.
I did and there is not much more to report.
Wish I had a better news for you folks, and New York City FC fans.
During a digital Q&A Monday afternoon, I asked commissioner Don Garber about an update about a stadium for NYCFC.
NYCFC will kick off its seventh season Saturday night and it still calls Yankee Stadium, a baseball park, home. And due to the Yankees’ schedule, NYCFC could play as many as nine games at Red Bull Arena this season.
You talked about cathedrals of soccer, and I know NYCFC fans in the team are waiting to get their cathedral of soccer. Could you first. This is a three-part question by the way. Could you give us an update on the situation there. What are your personal thoughts of having to play in a baseball stadium, seven years into the team’s existence, and what sort of message do you have for the fans as well?
— Jonathan Densa (@JonathanDensa) April 12, 2021
“Nothing’s changed since the last time we chatted. The team continues to work hard on trying to get a stadium developed and obviously that had delays with with COVID. By the way, same for [Inter Miami CF]. Miami Freedom Park is a project that Jorge Mas and his group are laser focused on and look at the facility that they’re playing in temporarily. But we will get a stadium in Miami. It might take longer than we thought, but we’ll get stadium in Miami and we will get a stadium in New York.
“I will say to the fans you know you have a team that has, you know, a great brand, you have ownership that loves the club, you have great success on the field. And I think the rivalry with the Red Bulls will continue to thrive and grow, and we appreciate this support and we appreciate their patience
“Looking back years from now people will forget the trials and tribulations of the stadium development process. I’ve been through it before in so many different markets, but we’ll get there, I got a photograph sent to me by [Philadelphia Union chairman and CEO] Jay Sugarman last night. He and I spent standing with then Vice President Biden, now President Biden, at the announcement of the new team. It opened up playing in Veteran’s Stadium at that time and now has a beautiful facility. So these things take time, and I appreciate everybody’s patience and support.”
Garber’s response was all over the place and never really answered the questions.
Unfortunately, Garber never touched the second question about playing in a ballpark, which has to be a major thorn in the side of the league.
And unfortunaely, I never got an opportunity to ask a follow-up question.
In a Q&A on NYCFC.com earlier this month, club CEO Brad Sims said team still had not found “the necessary parcels of land.”
“From the time we enter the public approval process, we are plus or minus four years out from that point to stadium opening, if everything goes as we hope,” he said.
Translated: It could take a decade if not more for the team to have a stadium to call its own.
On Friday, Sims will meet with the local media via Zoom. I know the stadium subject will be broached then.
To be continued.