Could Soccer be Coming to the South Bronx

Could Soccer be Coming to the South Bronx
The map of a proposed NYCFC soccer stadium near Yankee Stadium.

A soccer stadium that has been rumored to be coming to the Bronx for the last seven years may finally be heading here.

On Friday, February 7, the New York Times dropped a bombshell that NYCFC is nearing a deal to come to terms on a stadium deal in the south Bronx.

According to the report, “The team’s owners, in conjunction with a group of local developers, are nearing an agreement with New York City that would allow the team to construct a privately financed, 25,000-seat stadium in the south Bronx as part of a development project costing more than $1 billion.

The new stadium, the anchor of a plan that will replace excess NY Yankees parking lots and an elevator parts factory with affordable housing units, a new school, a hotel and retail stores, a short walk down River Avenue from the team’s current home at Yankee Stadium.

However, a spokesmen for the NYCFC, NYC Economic Development Corporation and the developer, Madd Equities cautioned that there is no deal yet and all parties are cooperating to start a process to achieve city public approval.

“It’s long past time to make the underutilized parking lots around Yankee Stadium into something more,” said an EDC spokesman. “The city has been approached by a team of affordable housing developers, the Yankees and the NYC Football club. We are hopeful for a future where these lots can better serve the community. The first step towards achieving that is engaging the community on their needs and vision for this area.”

“NYCFC is actively involved with MADDD Equities, the New York Yankees, NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Bronx Parking Authority, Bronx community groups and local leaders to bring an exciting and positive project proposal to the south Bronx and its community, one element of which would be New York City’s first soccer-specific stadium and home for NYCFC,” the NYCFC spokesman said.

“We have been honored to call the Bronx our home for the last five years playing at Yankee Stadium, and we will keep our neighbors and our dedicated fans informed as we participate with MADDD and others in any related consultations and the public approval process.”

Paul Philips, the district manager for Community Board 4 declined to comment on the rumored stadium. However, Cary Goodman, director of the 161st Street Business Improvement District, feels it would be good for the community.

In September 2019, a survey conducted by the BID revealed that 65 percent of the neighborhood supported a stadium if it included a female team, community programing, had a dome for year-round use and made the community a shareholding partner.

On Saturday, February 8, the BID held a press conference about the rumored stadium.

“The community supports a stadium that will be environmentally responsible, accessible to local schools, gender equitable and most importantly, gives everyone a stake in its revenues,” Goodman said. “Our equity is the neighborhood’s 90-year history of hospitality, and we want to make sure our businesses, property owners, residents and employees benefit.”

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