New York City got its first official soccer team in 2013, and now, almost seven years later, the New York City F.C. (Football Club) is about to finally get its own home stadium.
According to the New York Times, the organization has almost reached a real estate deal to construct the stadium in the South Bronx, right near Yankee Stadium.
The deal includes not only the 25,000-seat stadium, but also affordable housing options, a school, hotel and stores. The total (privately-financed) development project will cost over $1 billion. The NYC F.C. team currently plays at Yankee Stadium, which this new space would be right down the road from on River Avenue.
And it’s been a longtime coming. The team has been looking to find a more permanent headquarters pretty much since it was established in 2013. But year after year as it tried to propose construction in other areas of the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and even right outside the city on Long Island, they ran into issue after issue.
Playing at Yankee Stadium has come with its own share of troubles too, since the baseball team of course gets priority, which can often force the team to travel far for important home games.
According to the article, the club and the developers involved believe this time will be different. They took a very community-driven approach this time around, conducting outreach and gaining support from Mayor de Blasio and the head of the NYC Economic Development Corporation. The project will of course provide local jobs, as well as more affordable housing options and a new school for South Bronx residents.
The land that the stadium and other projects components will be built on is mostly Yankees Stadium parking lots, as well as an elevator parts factory (which will be moved to another location in the Bronx so workers will be able to keep their jobs). Part of the East 153rd St. block itself will be in the stadium, so that exit ramp off the Major Deegan Expressway will be closed and turn into a walkway to a new park.
The Times estimates that if all goes according to plan, which is likely since the NYC F.C. is working with city and state officials, the stadium could be looking at a completion date of 2024.
featured image source: NYCFC.com