Yanks’ Levine says NYCFC could consider “other sites” outside NYC

It’s been a busy morning on the stadium news front, so the first I saw of this latest NYC F.C. news came via Twitter:

It’s not quite that bald-faced, but, yeah, New York Yankees president Randy Levine, he of the volcanic temper and purple face, has kind of threatened to move the team out of New York City before it’s even arrived:

“This is here, until there’s another venue,” Levine said. “The Yankees are the primary tenant. The schedule revolves around the Yankees. There’s no timetable. There’s been dialogue, we’re looking at sites. If not New York City, then other sites. I never rule out anything. But I’m one voice.”

New York Daily News sports reporter Filip Bondy goes on to assert that “Yonkers is waiting with open arms for a possible stadium deal,” which is news to pretty much everyone, though there was some speculation about NYC F.C. seeking a temporary stadium in Westchester before they announced their plan to start play at the Yankees’ stadium.

Building outside the city limits would certainly be easier in some respects — there’s a hell of a lot more available land there, and there are numerous mayors and city councils that could be appealed to, instead of the not-all-that-enthused officials currently in charge in New York City. Still, Westchester isn’t that easy for much of the New York area to get to, and you have to figure that Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan isn’t plunking down $200 million for an MLS expansion team just so he can play in the suburbs. For now, consider this somewhere between “we’re keeping all our options open” and “crap, we have to have the Yankees and the soccer team share a stadium for three-plus years, let’s throw everything we can think of out there and see if something sticks.”


19 comments on “Yanks’ Levine says NYCFC could consider “other sites” outside NYC

  1. I was honestly surprised they didn’t try to rent Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ or the MetLife Center in the Meadowlands. Each would be easier to use for a year or two than Yankees stadium, even though both are in New Jersey.

  2. Also the faint praise in the article that Yankee’s stadium will be busy in October, but the Met’s Citi Field would have lots of open dates is actually kind of awesome.

  3. The writer is a notorious Yankee homer, so a backhand shot at the Mets isn’t shocking. I mean, he’s not wrong…

  4. Would they change the name to New York City/Yonkers FC? It worked great for the NY/NJ MetroStars!

  5. Would they change the name to New York City/Yonkers FC? Worked great for the NY/NJ MetroStars…

  6. Location, Location, Location it’s the main reason baseball attendance remains strong. Surprised new mayor wouldn’t support privately funded park after supporting eminent domain and large public subsidies for the NBA. Another hypocrite.

  7. Interesting… but colour me skeptical. Again, Levine is threatening to move a club his employer co-owns with a multibillionaire who is really only interested in NYC out of NYC.

    Unless Levine or his employer are interested in buying out his partners, I doubt the New York franchise will call anywhere other than New York itself home. Whether that will be in Manhattan or Queens I don’t know… but if they were willing to play in NJ, Yonkers, Connecticut or Albany, it would have been cheaper to overpay for the team in Harrison that also calls itself NY.

  8. maybe they could build a stadium on the pad currently occupied by the Nassau Coliseum after the Islanders move out.

  9. @Sierra Spartan: “New York City FC of Nassau County” just sounds a bit weird. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.

  10. You may not remember this but back in 1971/1972 Michael Burke, then CEO of the Yankees under CBS, threatened to move the Yankees to the suburbs along with an empty area in NJ. The site that he claimed would be the Yankees’ new home was the Yonkers Raceway parking lot. Of course, that didn’t go far and the Yankees signed their agreement for a renovated Yankee Stadium and then CBS sold the Yankees at a loss.

    This is a just a standard play from an old book.

  11. I should have added that the same play was used again in 1996 when a new Yankee Stadium was starting to be discussed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/11/nyregion/plan-to-lure-yankees-to-yonkers.html

  12. Wholeheartedly agreed GDub.

    I hope Bill de Blasio takes note of what this could mean for the heart and soul of the Big Apple. I’m 100% sure he wouldn’t want to be remembered as the man who let NYCFC go through his grasp.

  13. GDub: But they don’t “have” to go through this… just like the patient and loyal partner who tolerates a spouse’s infidelity and dishonesty, it is a choice.

    If fans of the Yankees (or any other team… and I’m not sure that a soccer club that has yet to sign any players much less take the field can be said to have loyal fans…) really find Levine’s behaviour intolerable, they should vote with their wallets and their feet.

    Nothing focuses the mind of a sports owner like empty seats and unsold merch.

  14. Kei: How would NYCFC ‘fans’ miss what they’ve never had? With all due respect, this team does not exist yet. If Levine decides to make it Yonkers FC, I doubt anyone beyond a handful of (paid?) lobbyists would miss it.

    I would have thought de Blasio has greater issues on his plate than planning how to pay for a stadium that doesn’t exist as an inducement to a team that does not yet exist either.

  15. It’s bluster. The league has been salivating for a team in New York City proper since 1996, and it’s the whole idea behind even considering it to begin with. If you’re open to retreating to the ‘burbs, you may was well go for a groundshare with Red Bull. It’s not like it’s without precedent in New York (Giants/Jets) or MLS (Galaxy/Chivas USA).

  16. The league has been salivating for a team in New York City proper since 1996, and it’s the whole idea behind even considering it to begin with. If you’re open to retreating to the ‘burbs, you may was well go for a groundshare with Red Bull. It’s not like it’s without precedent in New York (Giants/Jets) or MLS (Galaxy/Chivas USA).