When last we checked in on NYC F.C.‘s never-ending quest for a new soccer stadium in the Bronx, it was going nowhere fast, weighed down by problems with everything from obtaining the necessary land to rezoning the site. And it hasn’t sped up any during Covid, but a report by The Outfield (no, not those guys) has used public record requests to shed a little light on what the team has been up to in the meantime:
- Developer Maddd Equities, which is working with the team on the project, has hired lobbyists to work on getting state approval to decommission a ramp to and from the Major Deegan Expressway, since the street it leads to would now be buried beneath the stadium. A big sticking point: The state “would have no interest in owning or maintaining a bridge which is not open to public traffic” and neither does the city, so Maddd or the team would presumably have to buy the thing, which would end up being turned into a pedestrian bridge sticking weirdly out of the side of the stadium like so:
The bridge would be used to provide access to the Bronx waterfront, which has been an issue ever since a bunch of recreational space was displaced when the new Yankee Stadium nearby was build atop a public park and moved to the other side of the Deegan. That would maybe be a plus for local residents, though the necessity of having to climb a flight of stairs to get to a deck outside the soccer stadium before walking across the bridge would put a bit of a damper on its utility.
- Maddd and NYC F.C. still have to arrange to buy a large chunk of the proposed stadium land, which is currently owned by an elevator company called GAL. But first GAL needs to find another site to relocate to, which according to public records has involved hiring more lobbyists to pressure the Bronx Borough President’s office to help out, on the grounds that GAL’s current home is “the lynch pin” of the soccer development. (Note to lobbyists: While that spelling is allowed, you probably don’t want to use it.)
The headline that The Outfield put on all this is “Is NYCFC’s Stadium Ready To Ramp Up?”, to which the answer appears, as Ian Betteridge would predict, to be “nope.” Which isn’t to say that it won’t happen eventually — lots of stadium deals happen eventually, and “eventually” is a long time — but for now it should probably remain classified under “reply hazy, ask again later.”