It’s time again to check in on the NYC F.C. stadium plans, which have been stuck in “talk optimistically without any actual details” mode for, oh jeez, almost three years now. Team CEO Brad Sims posted a Q&A with himself on his team’s own website last week, and one of the Qs by the not-at-all-straw-man-questioner was “We really need our own Stadium – what’s the latest?” Sims’ answer was a masterpiece of PR-speak (translations below):
As we have always said about our Stadium project, we must ensure support from our community boards, community leaders, and local elected officials – and working with them to ensure that the project aligns with their goals and expectations is priority one.
Translation: We need city government to do a bunch of things for us, including closing streets, tearing down a highway ramp, and evicting the parking garage owners who our partners the Yankees brought in to help get their own stadium built 12 years ago. And that could take a while.
COVID did slow down the work to secure land, but that process has picked up significantly. More steps to go, but it is moving again in the right direction.
Translation: We’ve made no progress over the past year, but will soon. We hope. Maybe.
Things like land assembly and public approval process are far more complicated in NYC than any other MLS Club has ever had to deal with.
Translation: Durn people!
From the time we enter the public approval process, we are plus or minus four years out from that point to Stadium opening, if everything goes as we hope.
Translation: The city land use approval process takes about a year, and then it’ll take maybe three years to tear down all the garages and highway ramps and build a soccer stadium. Also, “plus or minus,” because that’s the kind of thing that sounds professional, and it definitely means “about,” not that we’re hoping to start building by time-traveling into the past, because that always works out poorly.
Q: How do I get tickets for the home opener on April 24th at Yankee Stadium?
Translation: Moving on!
Let’s not be too hard on Sims: He has to say something about his team’s stadium plans, and if you can’t say something concrete, say something blandly optimistic. Still, there’s zero evidence that the team’s convoluted financing and land proposal is any closer to reaching fruition than it was when it was first leaked in 2018. Of course, it’s possible things are going on behind the scenes — there’s a long tradition of that in The Bronx — but for now, alarm and/or hope should probably be down somewhere around DEFCON 4. That’s bad news if you’re an NYC F.C. fan mostly concerned about not having to watch home games at your rival’s stadium, but potentially good news if you’re a New York City resident mostly concerned about not wanting to see your tax dollars and public land going toward building a new home for a team co-owned by two of the wealthiest sports businesses on the planet. If you’re both of those things at once, well, fight it out amongst yourself.