By FRANCO PANIZO
NEW YORK — Though multiple reports suggest not everything is going perfectly with the team’s plans to play at Yankee Stadium, New York City FC officials are maintaining a confident public front on the subject of the venue’s field conditions for both soccer and baseball.
A day after the Wall Street Journal published a story that quoted Yankees players fretting over the condition of the field at Yankee Stadium, several members of NYCFC said Wednesday they were not worried about any potential hiccups. NYCFC understood some of the Yankees players’ uneasiness, but insisted that the proper measures have been taken to ensure there are no field problems for either themselves or the world-renowned ball club.
“Transitioning a field from baseball to soccer was discussed with the Yankees,” said NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said during Media Day. “They were the lead, and that’s what they feel comfortable with on the front end, the back end to flip the field. I think, naturally, when someone comes in, there’s going to be concern from the players.
“But from my end, just knowing how this organization is, they put a lot of work into making sure that the field is prepared for their baseball team, first and foremost, and they’re equally committed to make sure we have a good playing surface. It’s an amazing team. These guys have been doing it for years, and I remain only confident that it’s going to be good.”
A New York Daily News report on Wednesday revealed images of the stadium’s field in the midst of its transition to soccer field ahead of Sunday’s home opener, with fresh grass having recently been brought in. That’s led to concerns that the field won’t have time to take root before Sunday’s opener.
Still, there is a confidence among NYCFC officials and players. Captain and star forward David Villa on Wednesday delivered a vote of confidence for the field conversion, which is said to take between 2-3 days and relies on mobile lighting to regrow grass.
Villa played once before at Yankee Stadium, helping Spain grab a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly in June 2013, and pointed to the fact that there were no issues that day as a reason why he believes things will go over smoothly this year.
“The field was brilliant in that instance,” said Villa. “I hear that the grounds crew is going to take care off the field and that it will be brilliant, and I’m sure that will be the case. We’re confident in it being fantastic.”
Yankee Stadium is serving as a temporary venue for NYCFC, which is partly owned by the Yankees, until the MLS club finds land within the five boroughs of New York to construct a soccer-specific stadium. Reyna said Wednesday that talks on that front are ongoing, but revealed no specifics or tangible evidence of progress.
“We’re having conversations, positive conversations with the city and the mayor’s office,” said Reyna. “They continue happening, so we’re looking to find something as soon as possible.”
New York City FC will play its first home game at Yankee Stadium when it hosts the New England Revolution on Sunday.
What do think of the Yankee Stadium field situation? Think the conditions will be fine, or see it being a disaster on Sunday?
Share your thoughts below.
“…they put a lot of work into making sure that the field is prepared for their baseball team, first and foremost, and they’re equally committed to make sure we have a good playing surface…”
Wait, so first and foremost specifically doesn’t mean equal commitment….
Reyna seems to be saying, “I don’t know anything about the field. That’s the responsibility of the Yankees half of this operation. We have to rely on them and trust that they get it right.” Sounds like being a tenant in your own house.
Building stadiums using public money is going to be increasingly difficult anywhere, as it should be. But the article in the link below explains why and even mentions the SSS that NY is trying to build. I just worry about a baseball taking a bad bounce costing the Yanks a key game or a Yankee player getting injured and the field, NYCFC, and soccer in general gets the blame. It will bring out the soccerphobes in the national media like Shauhnessy. I remember when Heath Bell of San Diego lost his **** when Petco was going to host a friendly between Liga MX. Soccerphobes jumped on his comments. Bottom line is NYCFC need a new stadium somewhere. Hope it can get done.
Yeah, I mean if anyone thinks the DeBlasio administration is going to be assisting a team owned by the Yankees and Sheikh Mansour, I think they may need to reconsider. Ultimately I see this “NYC”FC playing in Westchester or some other suburban area.
going to be so great when their home ends up being RedBull Arena and Garber starts to get an itch for a 3rd “NYC” team. THIRD TIMES A CHARM
RFK hosted both the Nats and DC United for 3 years. I don’t remember a baseball player getting hurt, or massive complaints about field conditions and I seriously doubt the DC hired the kind of grounds crew people that the Yankees do,
If Mark Teixeira is worried about something that sucks, he might want to worry about why a guy who makes $21 million a year can’t hit his weight.
What’s all the hating with nycfc, They are gonna do better than red bull in and out of the stadium.
It might take nycfc 5 years to get their stadium but what if they get the stadium before and they will have DPs from all over the world, let’s not forget that amigos.
What nycfc really needs to do is get some renderings out, in order to create some excitement and get fans pump up.
Look at what cosmos did, they got some fancy renderings of their stadium and their fans got excited and sky the limit amigos.
Not only cosmos, but the whitecaps used some waterfront renderings to get into MLS , dc and Miami are battling the government with stadium renderings, look at Atlanta. Let’s not forget all those NFL owners owners who show NFL with a soccer field.
No matter what, nycfc needs to get some renderings out there. Shows us some stadium porn, just like Miami and dc.
Give us that stadium porn!!! Expansion cities, show it. Looking at you Minneapolis, st.louis, San Antonio, Sacramento, Miami.
I don’t know how serious your posting was, but I leave in NY and I cannot see them getting a stadium any time soon. There is a lot of politics involved and real estate is a premium and expensive. It took a lot to get Yankees stadium and all they did was flip flop the sites for an existing park and the old stadium (old stadium became a park and the new stadium was built on a park). I don’t know if I really want another stadium in NY. I (as well as a lot of NY’ers) don’t want another thing on flushing meadows park. One thing thing I could think of would be to build it where Icahn stadium is on Randalls Island. That has room. You are not going to build a 70,000 seat stadium there but you could a 25-40k stadium there.
Randalls Island – now that’s *really* old school. All you need is green paint on the field and it’s 1974 again!
Randalls Island has no subway access. Getting 20,000 fans into and out of the island is going to be a traffic nightmare. There’s a reason that the original Cosmos only played there for one season, in 1975. The traffic was a nightmare. It’s not a viable location.
those cities have actual things happening and land to build it on. you might as well just copy and paste some random stadium rendering from an image search and call it the future NYCFC stadium, amigo, because that is as close as they are to getting it
Just as confident as they were about Lampard at papa club #1.
They have a practice facility nearby in Westchester County and they have practiced indoors nearby as well.
Where does NYCFC practice? Have they at least found a home practice facility?