By Ryan Gerbosi
New York City FC’s dream of a permanent home of its own within the five boroughs reportedly is closer than ever.
The Major League Soccer club and the city of New York agreed to a deal to build a soccer-specific stadium in Willets Point as part of a larger development project, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
A request for comment to the club was not returned.
According to the report, a 25,000-seat venue would serve as NYCFC’s home beginning in 2027. The stadium would anchor a mixed-use development of the area across the street from Citi Field’s rightfield foul pole. The 23-acre project also would include 2,500 units of housing and a 250-room hotel.
The stadium reportedly would be paid for entirely by NYCFC, which won the area’s first MLS Cup title in 2021. The club is majority owned by City Football Group, the Abu Dhabi-funded soccer conglomerate created by the operators of English power Manchester City.
NYCFC also would pay $4 million of rent a year to lease the land for the stadium from New York City with a club option for a 25-year extension.
NYCFC was established in 2013 and began play two years later, utilizing Yankee Stadium as its primary home venue until a suitable site could be found. Recent NYCFC campaigns have seen several scheduling conflicts with the Yankees, the stadium’s primary tenant and NYCFC’s minority owner.
NYCFC played matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, where scant crowds watched NYCFC play in the home of its cross-river rivals, as well as Citi Field, the club’s apparent new neighbor. The Queens ballpark hosted several regular season matches as well as playoff games in 2019 and ’22.
NYCFC’s search for a permanent site took it to various locations across the boroughs and Nassau County over the years, including a failed bid for the land that now hosts UBS Arena at Belmont Park. Other sites considered but ultimately rejected included Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a redevelopment of parking lots around Yankee Stadium.