By CAITLIN MURRAY
New York City FC’s hopes to build a training facility at Manhattanville College are over.
Club officials have told Manhattanville College that they cannot wait for a resolution to the lawsuit seeking to block the new construction and will look elsewhere for a site, the school announced Friday.
NYCFC had proposed renovating existing facilities and adding a new soccer field at the Purchase, N.Y. college campus and the plan had received approval from the local planning board. But the Purchase Environmental Protective Association filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court on Wednesday to block the action.
“It is unfortunate that a small group of very well resourced citizens chose to pursue this action against the College,” Manhattanville College President Jon C. Strauss said in a statement Friday. “Had this partnership come to fruition, it would have provided $10 million in much needed capital improvements, important academic and internship opportunities, and invaluable publicity to the College.”
The environmental group sued over traffic concerns and worries the team would continue to practice at Manhattanville past the end of the five-year lease. The plan called for the club to gift the training facilities to the college after the lease expired.
But this is nothing new for the college — the New York Rangers had sought in the 1990s to build an ice hockey rink for training there, but community opposition stopped it and the school was left without hockey facilities.
NYCFC, which will join Major League Soccer as an expansion team and begin play in 2015, continues to search both for training facilities and for a permanent site for their stadium. They will play at Yankee Stadium until a stadium is built.
What do you think of this news? Will this hurt NYCFC’s timeline to get facilities in place before the 2015 season? What other sites should they look at?
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