NYC F.C. could get its own nine-figure state land gift, for a Bronx stadium

And then there’s this, via the real estate blog New York YIMBY:

YIMBY has the first look at an enormous project coming to the South Bronx waterfront, dubbed Harlem River Yards, submitted to the city by a Related-led partnership. The plans would rise adjacent to Somerset Partners’s assortment of new towers already in the works, adding another major affordable housing building, as well as the City’s first dedicated soccer stadium, with 26,000 seats, designed by Rafael Viñoly. The total cost is projected at $700 million.

The partnership is comprised of Related, Somerset Partners, and the New York City Football Club, which would be the occupying team for the new stadium.

The railyard RFP actually was open for expressions of interest more than a year ago, so if NYC F.C. and its partners — Related is the realty giant run by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross — have been secretly planning this, they’ve been secretly planning it for a while. The YIMBY report doesn’t say anything about any public money being involved, though it does say Related and Somerset would pay $500,000 a year on a ground lease for 12.8 acres of state land; developer Keith Rubinstein (of “Piano District” fame, and also the principal of Somerset Partners) spent $58 million for five acres just one bridge over a couple of years back, so if that’s any gauge, the state should be getting more like $10 million a year in rent, which would a total state subsidy of about $130 million in present value.

There’s also the question of whether an MLS stadium can even fit on the site without some major reworking of the Harlem River waterfront. Here’s the rendering of the site provided by YIMBY:

And here’s Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, pasted over the site by me via Google Maps and Photoshop:

I mean, maybe, if the architects are super-creative and trim the corners just right? But soccer pitches only come in one size, and Red Bull Arena is pretty compact already, so I’d like to see something with actual measurements before saying for sure that this wouldn’t require closing streets or moving navigable shipping lanes.

Plus, keep in mind this is only a proposal — the state Empire State Development agency still would need to approve it as the winner. In any case, expect lots more on this tomorrow once the rest of the New York media gets hold of it…

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15 comments on “NYC F.C. could get its own nine-figure state land gift, for a Bronx stadium

  1. I strongly believe that assuming Gov. Cuomo beats Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary the NYCFC Stadium will be happening. I know that there will be a lot of opposition from community and ( or) pressure groups ( the difficulty FC Cincinnati had in getting a stadium agreement is on example of this opposition. Cuomo has the power to push this through ( just like with the Islanders), he also knows that again just like with the Islanders, the time is now otherwise the opposition may be so strong ( plus a renewed push to enact anti Stadium bills in Congress, ( a rare thing both parties agree on), next uear may be too late

    1. I just spoke to ESD, and they haven’t even issued an RFP for this site. So there’s no way this gets approved before next year.

      1. Neil the two things to be questioned as far as tbe Stadium are 1: The price of the stadium. I saw $75m listed in the Post ( no way that price gets a stadium). 2: The 138th 6 train stop. I was there several years ago, and it is in dire need of a rebuild ( as is 145th st 4 & 5 train stop which is worse). That said, i think this is a done deal like what happened with the Islanders.

  2. Soccer pitches do not actually only come in one size.

    There is an optimal size. If you are building one in the 21st century for a D1 team, you would like it to be 120 x 75 at least. But there are a variety of sizes and the rules only give a range.

    1. FIFA minimum is 110 x 70 yards, but given that one of the main reasons NYCFC wants out of Yankee Stadium is the pitch is too small, I’m guessing they won’t go with that. Red Bull Arena is 120 x 75.

      1. The MAIN REASON NYCFC and every thinking soccer fan in America wants NYCFC out of Yankee Stadium is that the pitch is in the outfield of a damned baseball stadium. Size really isn’t the issue.

        1. There are soccer teams who play in rugby stadiums, soccer teams who play in track and field arenas, and rugby teams who play in soccer stadiums. There’s even an English team thaht until 25 years ago played in the “Baseball Ground.” The world didn’t end.

          Check out the sight lines in some of those old classics. You’ll love Yankee Stadium.

          “Soccer Only” stadiums are of a rather recent vintage. Soccer-only stadiums owned by the public, an even newer idea.

          1. Until 2000, Hibernian played on pitch at Easter Road that sloped. One end of the field was 6 feet higher than the other.

          2. I am against this stadium, mostly because I don’t want my tax dollars paying for it.

            But there is a big difference between a soccer team playing in the stadium of a rectangular sport team (rugby/gridiron/etc) and sharing a field with a baseball team.

        2. ^^


          MLS is trying to position itself as a legitimate top-ten soccer league in the world. You can’t do that when you are playing in a baseball outfield.

  3. They don’t necessarily have to build a symmetrical stadium. Some of the older stadiums in Europe have far more seats in one endzone than the other. Like Newcastle. (They like to sit behind the goals. I never understood why until I sat there myself and realized why: ah, you don’t have to turn your head side to side. What a relief.). Maybe they don’t put many seats on the river end.

    1. That’s actually an excellent idea, though it doesn’t look like what they’ve done in the renderings.

      1. From following this blog for a number of years, I can safely say that the final stadium will look absolutely nothing like the renderings above.

  4. Soccer pitches do not come in only one size. Additionally, NYCFC have been playing on a narrow pitch at Yankee Stadium, they may chose to have a smaller playing space in their new home….IF all of this actually pans out.

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