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Yankee Stadium still potential home of MLS team

MLSIt sounds like there are still a lot of moving parts in play, as Major League Soccer (MLS) officials address the possibility of an expansion team playing in Yankee Stadium while a new home is being built.

The issue: where the new home could be built. New York officials had proposed putting a 25,000-seat MLS stadium in Flushing Meadow next to Citi Field, but that would have required the cooperation of the New York Mets. That plan, while technically still on the table, appears to be on life support. A second plan was floated by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to build a new facility close to Yankee Stadium. That, too, appears to be on life support.

The new team is slated to begin play in 2015, and the possibility of playing a season or two is still on the agenda. From Sports Illustrated:

[MLS deputy commissioner Mark] Abbott declined to speculate on other potential temporary venues. Regardless of where NYCFC kicks off, the long-time MLS executive doesn’t expect the team to spend too long in temporary digs.

“No one is envisioning a long period of time here in an interim stadium. I don’t know exactly what that time is, but it’s intended to be fairly short,” Abbott said. “On a daily basis they’re working on a long-term stadium solution, as are we.”…

“The most effective way to get the stadium project completed was to complete the transaction with Manchester City, and ultimately the Yankees, and allow them to move forward with the city, doing the things they do very well,” Abbott said. “We concluded that our interests were aligned and that they would be an effective group to get the stadium deal done.”

Yankee Stadium has hosted friendlies and college-football bowl games in the past, but it’s not really set up to handle a full season of MLS soccer. Right now there are only two MLB facilities hosting both baseball and football on a regular basis: Coliseum in Oakland and Rogers Centre in Toronto.

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