Don Garber did not give an update on the NYCFC stadium situation. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

LOS ANGELES – When asked to give an update about a stadium for New York City FC on Thursday, league commissioner Don Garber did not give any clues during a Q&A with the media after his annual state of the league address.

A year after winning its first MLS Cup, NYCFC is still trying to secure a stadium it can call its own. Since joining the league in 2015 the team, for the most part, has called Yankee Stadium in the Bronx home.

“I’m confident that we’ll have a stadium in New York City,” Garber said at the Intercontinental Downtown Los Angeles Hotel.

On July 26, the New York Post reported that New York City Mayor Eric Adams was expected to announce that he had agreed with plans f or a 25,000-seat soccer-specific field that was to be built near Citi Field.

“A deal is close, but negotiations are ongoing,” a source told the Post.

That was more than three months ago. Since then, not a peep. Of course, to be fair Adams has more important matters to worry about, with crime in the city on the rise and many incidents in the subway.

Here are the questions I asked (well, actually three):

“Earlier this year, there were reports that a NYCFC Stadium was going to be built soon or at least there will be plans for it. I have a three-part question. So you might be ready to write this down. First of all, very basically, could you give us a general update? That’s part one. Part two. NYC FC, the defending champions, was forced to play in six different venues this year in what they call home. What sort of a look is that for the defending champions and the league itself? And here it is their eighth season in the league. They’re still playing a baseball stadium, a baseball park.  Did you think it was going to take this long and even longer to get them soccer-specific Stadium in New York City? Thank you.”

Unfortunately, Garber’s response didn’t actually answer the questions.

“When we granted the team to New York City, we were on the cusp of finalizing a deal with the City of New York, and we had anticipated finalizing that. For reasons that you know, and most people are aware of, that deal never closed.

“With that being said, I’m proud of what’s gone on in New York. I think we’ve got a great rivalry with the Red Bulls. We’ve got a championship team that’s doing wonderful things to build soccer affinity for soccer fans in a very large city.

“It’s not optimal to not have your home. It’s not anything that MLS ever intends to do. I think you probably have been around to know and understand that.

“What I will tell you, having stood in front of many of you for over 20 years, developing stadiums is an enormously difficult process for anyone. When you want to be as close to an urban environment as possible, it’s even more difficult, and doing it in cities like New York and Miami and Los Angeles, border on being impossible, but we have always powered through. We’ve always gotten deals done.

“I could always stay here years later and say, don’t ask me about Miami anymore as we’re building a stadium in Miami. I’m confident that we’ll have a stadium in New York City.I think all of us will look back on the challenges of getting to this point as the NYCFC 1.0. When they’re playing in a beautiful stadium that I think will be spectacular, if they’re able to get it over the finish line, we’ll be very proud of it.”

Due to its home field, Yankee Stadium, not being available due to the Yankees’ schedule or that Concacaf did not deem the narrow field fit to use for the Concacaf Champions League, NYCFC was forced to play at six venues.

Not very fitting for the league champions, or any team, for that matter.

Those five other venues included Banc of California Stadium (Los Angeles FC, Los Angeles), Red Bull Arena (Red Bulls home, Harrison, N.J.), Citi Field (Mets baseball park, Queens, N.Y.), Rentschler Field (college football stadium, East Hartford, Conn.) and Belson Stadium (St. John’s University soccer stadium, Queens, N.Y.).

As it turns out, Banc of California Stadium will host the MLS Cup between LAFC and Philadelphia Union on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

I give NYCFC players a lot of credit being able to win and play well at their multiple venues. Certainly not an easy thing to do.

The team deserves better.

The fans also deserve better.

Even if a stadium deal is announced tomorrow, we all know it will be two years minimum, perhaps three years, before we see anything built. That’s just way things are in NYC.

Personally, I would like to see a stadium erected  by the 2026 World Cup, and that event is a lot closer than we think.