By Michael Lewis
As New York City FC CEO Brad Sims took to the podium at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to talk about his team’s success, supporters of his club started chanting:
“We want a stadium! We want a stadium!”
In its seventh year as a franchise, NYCFC already had an MLS Cup championship to call its own, but no true home stadium. The Cityzens have called Yankee Stadium home for a good portion of their existence.
After Sims heard the chants, he said: “Wait for it. Wait for it. It’s coming. So, I have a lot of people to thank. All right. All right. All right. Who wants it? Who wants one? One? Let’s go. Alright. What I love about our fans is the passion, the passion. I’ll get there. I’ll get there. They gave me a few minutes. I’ll get there.”
Sims eventually did get there, but NYCFC’s fans didn’t hear exactly what they had hoped for. It was a promise, not unlike the team’s supporters have heard for years. It was more like a tease.
“There are a lot of things that we want to accomplish together at this club but our top of man ambitions are two; one, win trophies and two, build a stadium,” he said. “Our players and our fans deserve both. And I’m here today to promise you that we will not stop pursuing trophies and we wait for . It’s coming. It’s coming guys. It’s coming.”
To be fair, NYCFC has tried to find a stadium site, but has hit with various roadblocks, particularly in the Bronx, over the past seven years.
It looks like City will continue to call Yankee Stadium home for at least three more seasons, if not more.
Sims also thanked the NYCFC hierarchy, the City Football Group owners and management for their help in building a championship side and the team’s fans.
“Most importantly, thank you to our supporters, our fans,” he said. “Everyone out here, you are the heartbeat of this club. You provide the energy, the enthusiasm, the environment, the home field advantage and the away field advantage. Holy cow, Portland. You guys showed up.
“And finally, NYCFC employees and the group on the stage behind me, David Lee and the sporting staff, Ronnie Deila and our coaching staff and our incredible players, champions all. Everybody here every fan of this club, we were all fortunate to witness something special this season. We had a group of players who played for the badge on the front of their jersey and not the name on the back of it.
“They played for one another; they played for the fans. They played for injured teammates who could not be on the pitch with them. When you have a team that together like that, like this team was when you have a team that loves each other loves our brothers and sisters on the stage. That badge on the front of the jersey is what they play for. It ends up with a star on top of it.”