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Report: NYCFC considering soccer stadium site at Columbia University

BakerAthleticsComplex1 (ColumbiaUniversity)

Courtesy of Columbia University


New York City FC’s search for a home of their own has taken them back to Manhattan.

While currently playing at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NYCFC have identified Columbia University’s Baker Athletics Complex in the Inwood neighborhood on the northern tip of Manhattan as a potential stadium site, according to a report in the New York Times. The report states that NYCFC has proposed replacing Columbia’s 17,000-seat Lawrence A. Wien Stadium with a 25,000 seat stadium that could cost $400 million to build. NYCFC and Columbia football would share the stadium.

NYCFC would also spend an additional $30 million, over an undisclosed amount of time, to refurbish the other athletic fields on the complex.

Columbia University declined to comment to the New York Times while the MLS club gave a standard response, including the oft-repeated line, “We are working with the de Blasio administration to find a world-class site for a soccer-specific stadium.”

The proposed stadium site would keep NYCFC within the five boroughs of New York City if the report is true, and it’s not far from the A and the 1 subway lines, as well as the Marble Hill Metro North train station for folks traveling up the Hudson Line into Westchester and Putnam counties.

Parking would be an issue, as would space for the larger stadium with the athletics complex already squeezed into a small area.

But after attempts to build a stadium in Queens, the Bronx, and on a pier in Lower Manhattan, NYCFC appear to have found a new potential stadium site to go after.


What do you think of this report? What do you think of the stadium site? Do you believe fans would trek up to Inwood to watch NYCFC?

Share your thoughts below.



    New York, NY- The news that broke yesterday in the New York Times about a possible new soccer stadium in the Inwood section of my district is deeply troubling, and not a good beginning for any possible development project. Any group with a real intention to develop any possible project should start by engaging the surrounding community that will be directly impacted by the proposal and its elected leaders. For years community residents in this area have worked hard to ensure that the quality of life in this area is maintained and I believe that in order to preserve and build upon their gains, community engagement in this process is of utmost importance. I would like to believe that is mere speculation as neither the community nor myself, as the Council Member who is privileged to represent the area, has been informed of any such proposal.

  2. Not the worst idea. Columbia football only played five home games last season. I’m sue a lot of MLS soccer specific stadiums host way more events than five Ivy League football games. I could see Columbia getting on board as it would get a new state of the art stadium and partner going forward.

  3. This will never happen. I am not just saying that because i cant stand Man City USA, but there is literally no chance this will happen. I suspect this is just something to throw out there to counter the Cosmos/Brooklyn news and recent Belmont news.

  4. from MLS’s point of view this is too close to Red Bull Arena. They want two healthy franchises, splitting the town in half.

    But really, they may have to settle for this. They’re committed to being “city” and there’s no way in hell they’re going to get public land or tax breaks or anything like that.

    btw, I’m betting Columbia students/alums/faculty will raise a real stink about Mansour

  5. I’ve stayed at a friend’s place who lives up around 190th and Broadway and I’ve used the A train frequently on the weekends and it can take an hour just to get down to midtown Manhattan. If there is track work, forget about it. Even cab drivers don’t realize that Manhattan extends that far north.

    Is the weekend 1 train to 215th going to be any better? I can see that being one brutal slog.

  6. This would be a great location for NYCFC. It would be well located for the wealthy upper east and west side demographics, as well as Westchester County etc.

    Doesn’t make me like NYCFC much as a non New Yorker, but definitely fits with their international elite type of brand.

  7. RBNY II is playing some of their games at this complex this summer. Haven’t been up there for a game yet but it’s a hike. From Penn Station on the A, it’s a 40 minute ride. This is technically in the city but it’s not what people imagine when they think of an urban downtown stadium.

    • That’s def not true…its on the 1 & A lines…for Red Bull Arena you have to take the subway to the PATH and then walk. According to Columbia’s website, its only a few block from each subway (3 from 1 Train, 11 from A Train)

      “By MTA NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY: Broadway-Seventh Avenue IRT Local (“1” train) north or south to 215th Street, then walk two blocks north and cross Broadway at W. 218th Street. OR 8th Avenue IND Express (“A” train) north to 207th Street, then proceed north to 218th Street. “

      • You’ll have to walk just as far from the A or 1 as you do from the PATH to RBA. It isn’t that far a walk. This stadium isn’t any more convenient than RBA for the majority of NYC residents. And the parking will be a disaster. Not that RBA is great but you can park for $10. At Yankee Stadium, which is close to this site, it’s more like $50. Yes, $50. That wasn’t a typo.

      • “This stadium isn’t any more convenient than RBA for the majority of NYC residents.”

        I’m sorry but that’s false. I play my rec-league soccer games at the Columbia facility and it’s MUCH easier and faster to get to than NJ and I live in Queens.

        Take the 2, 3 express trains to 168 and either switch to the A or 1 and continue north bound 4 stops on the 1 or 5 stops on the A. Walking there from the trains literally takes 5 minutes. Door to door to my place in Sunnyside we’re talking 45 mins – and that’s train wait time included.

      • it can still be a hike if you live in Brooklyn or Lower east Side/East Village. Truth be told, neither RBA or Columbia Athletic fields is really that far, but we NY’ers are spoilt. Coming from the Westchester/NY Suburbs, you would take the special Yankees stop and take the 1 from there or get off 125th and go crosstown. From LI or NJ, it woudl be really simple: 1/2/3 from Penn Station. I have been to stadia in Europe and Latin America, parking is not necessary as long as transportation is excellent (which it is in NYC).

      • Yeah, I agree. It isn’t really that far to go but everyone in this area complains about it. I do think you need parking though because not everyone coming to the game lives in the city. I go from NJ to Yankee Stadium probably 8-10 times a year for Yankee games and it takes a while by train. Still, no matter where you build it, it’ll be inconvenient for some people. If people want to go badly enough, they’ll find a way.

      • Thus the genius of Madison Square Garden. Though they ruined a historic train station to put it there, slapping it right on top of NY Penn was a great move.

        All of these locations are great, and all are close in terms of mileage, but with the amount of traffic and choke points (bridges and tunnels) its a chore to get around to some of these stadiums.

        I think Ives recently mentioned it took almost the same amount of time to get to Philly as it did to get out to Long Island to see the Cosmos play.

    • Like all things NYC, it depends where you live. I live in Financial District so a PATH from WTC to Harrision is like 18 minutes, then walking distance. Taking the 2, 3 and stitching to 1 uptown or taking the A uptown will take like 45 minutes plus a mile walk to the stadium.

      If you live above 50th street on the west side or upper east, bronx or westchester county it is faster to get to Columbia stadium. Brooklyn, forget it. Queens and LI…nope.

      • Again, from Queens – it’s not that difficult. NRQ or 7 to Time Square, switch to 2, 3 express then change at 168 to the local 1 or A.

  8. This seems like a smart move because NYCFC would be dealing with the University,…not sleaze bag politicians like De Blasio, Sharpton, etc.

    They could get a stadium where they want easily,…by greasing NYC politicians tens of millions via secret accounts,…but I suspect the sleaze bags are getting too greedy. Once the team comes up with a viable alternative and the sleaze bags see their payday walking away,…they will change their tune and we could see a stadium in the Bronx.

    • De Blasio may be a D bag or whatever but any deal entered into with Columbia University is private, so the amount of money changing hands will never be known unless one side reveals their books, which is less likely than me shrinking the moon and stealing it.

    • I don’t agree with all of De Blasio’s politics, but a sleazebag he is not. The true sleazebags are in the background or on the local city boards…and statehouse….and 🙂

      “They could get a stadium where they want easily,…by greasing NYC politicians tens of millions via secret accounts”…ah no. Do you even live in the NYC area? If you do, you clearly have no idea how stadium rights work or are very naive. Building stadia in NYC is very difficult mainly because open land is too rare and expensive. it is much more valuable to build homes or other commercial real estate.

  9. But fans will have to walk a good distance from the trains! And there’s no parking!

    Oh wait – those criticisms are only supposed to be leveled at RBNY.

  10. I could see NYCFC folding in 5 years like Chivas USA did. I know the owners have endless cash but at a certain point a team with no home, a losing recird and a dwindling fan base will tarnish the City brand. MLS in the nation’s most important city is a dumpster fire.

  11. It would be sad if nycfc and cosmos get a stadium before sounders and whitecaps do.
    I know all sounders love their Seahawks stadium but why not approach the land that is meant for an NBA arena or remake memorial stadium.
    If you have the fans and you know they won’t walk away, then what are you waiting for. Obviously don’t choose a bad location but a soccer specific stadium is always the best for your fan base, specially for sounders fans.
    On the other hand, I don’t know about whitecaps, I thought their owner is or was super rich, like really rich, really money rich but I guess not. Look at tfc, they are expanding bmo while other teams in MLS say they don’t need a stadium or need to add a roof cover.
    I can go on and mention revolution stadium issues but nothing will happen there, but like I said before, if nycfc, cosmos, Miami, LA2 get a stadium before sounders or whitecaps, a lot of their fans will be disappointed.
    By the way, is Miami serious about building next to marlins park. Little Havana???? Cubans love baseball not soccer lol

    • Agreed about the Sounders stadium. I cannot take them seriously until they move to a real stadium, and away from that vomit-inducing turf field on which they play. It looks ugly, the ball bounces awful, and I refuse to watch Sounders home games until they get a real stadium with real grass.

      Ditto for Revs.

      • I’m always amazed how much the Sounders fans stick up for the turf.
        The stadium itself for MLS is ok/good. SSS would be nice, but the location there is prime. Its just the damn turf. Why don’t fans use their might and demand grass? If any fan base has the power to demand the best you would think it was them.

    • I love the turf. Really for one reason, because of how annoyed everyone gets. LOL. Seattle is not going any where, best stadium in sports.

      What is the deal on ripping on Cuban soccer love? Best player in MLS is Cuban.

      • the location
        the views; of the field & the area
        all other requirements of a great stadium.

        C-Link is at the top of the list in everything. Though, it does need the turf replaced… with new turf, not grass.

      • no one hates the Sounders. Everyone loves them for two reasons, for paying everyone else’s debt and for always losing to the galaxy. Well done you people of the Sound

    • The Whitecaps are locked into a lease with BC Place. The renovations to the stadium as part of the the 2010 Olympics included specific items requested by the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps owner is a billionaire and owns land on the Vancouver waterfront where he wanted to build a privately financed stadium. After backlash by NIMBY’s, and a land swap deal with the Port of Vancouver that could not be accommodated, the waterfront stadium is now on hold indefinitely. What might have been:

  12. LOL..NYCFC will go from sharing a baseball stadium to sharing it with College Football…What’s next, it’ll be turf because the field will be so beat up?

    • Give them a break, look at Seattle or should I say, revolution.
      They are actually trying and opening their wallet.
      If I was a billionaire, I would buy fc Dallas and Chicago.
      Two huge soccer markets. I would donate the stadium and pay bridgeview some cash and move the team to the city, or make the bridgeview stadium the academy stadium.
      Same thing with fc Dallas,i would donate the stadium to frisco or make frisco stadium the academy stadium and move the team to downtown Dallas.
      Only if I was a billionaire.

      • Billionaires also understand the politics of building stadiums – especially the incredibly complicated politics of cities like New York and Chicago.

      • I really don’t get the bashing of the Revolutions stadium. It is a great place to go see a game. Yes it is on turf but it is state of the art and FIFA approved. Sharing a stadium with an NFL team for part of the year is nothing compared to what NYC Farm club is doing now and is proposing.

      • How is it nothing compared to what NYC is proposing? NFL teams play 8 regular season home games plus 2 preseason games per year. College teams play 5-6 home games per year.

  13. Not a bad move, but why not go back to negotiating table and talk to the owners of the elevator factory (whatever it was) and now that the mayor is settled,why not go after that land again.
    Or go back to the pier and kiss some ass and show them the money.
    I’m not from New York but who has a better chance of making a stadium, nycfc or cosmos, and do cosmos have a real chance of making a stadium in Brooklyn.

    • Neither club has a chance of having a stadium built in the next 5 years. NY politics is about as crap as D.C. politics and NYC won’t give the teams the subsidies they want. Only the Knicks/Nets/Rangers/Yankees/Mets can get that from the city.

      • The Yankees and Mets had some bonds issued and the city built infrastructure (which is the job of the city) but otherwise the stadiums were privately financed.

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