The New York City Football Club (NYCFC) recently announced that they are “very, very close” to closing a deal with GAL Manufacturing to construct a soccer stadium in The Bronx directly south of Yankee Stadium. The stadium is estimated to cost $400 million and seat 28,000 people.
The NYCFC is still in its early infancy, having only just been formed earlier this year in May as a Major League Soccer Divison I sanctioned team. However, in that short time the club seems to be picking up steam and have appointed soccer veterans Claudio Reyna and Jason Kries as Director of Football Operations and Head Coach respectively.
Though current Mayor Michael Bloomberg has approved the deal, but the team reported that they will wait for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to weigh in. Assuming de Blasio gives his approval, the current timeline would have the NYCFC playing at Yankee Stadium in 2015 and hopefully playing in the new stadium in 2018 or 2019.
The announcement comes soon after other big events for New York soccer. The recent revival of the New York Cosmos as a Division II team and their recent win of the NASL 2013 Soccer Bowl has led to a triumphant first chapter in the team’s rebirth, and may help drive approval for a stadium of their own in Belmont Park.
In a joint proposal with local real estate developer Carl Mattone, the Cosmos are also waiting for the green light to build Cosmos Stadium, which would serve as a retail hub and a home base for the team.
After being dubbed the tallest building in America, One World Trade Center is making headlines again, though the events are far less grandiose. 1WTC is currently the site of a playground fight between the NYPD and the Port Authority, who are both claiming security jurisdiction over the area.
The PA cast the first stone by opening up a guard booth outside the site, complete with agency logo. NYPD did not take kindly to this and responded by parking their massive mobile command center several feet from the booth. NYPD rebuffed PA’s request that they leave, so PA upped the ante by parking a newer, more high-tech command center directly behind the NYPD vehicle in a classic show of frat house one-upmanship.
On a somewhat brighter note, 1WTC is set to open early next year and set an example for modern architecture. In recognition of its predecessor, the new site features state of the art fire safety systems, concrete cover on all exit routes and a dedicated stairwell for emergency personnel.
The building also features modern environmentally friendly design. Much of the material is recycled, and natural light is maximized through the glass to reduce need for electrical lighting. Rainwater is captured and used to cool the tower and water the landscaping. It is appropriately located right next to Battery Park City, which has been dubbed one of the greenest neighborhoods in the world. Battery Park is run by Battery Park City Authority, headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Board Chairman Dennis Mehiel. Board members include many local prominent businessmen and philanthropists such as Fernando Mateo and Carl Mattone.
The New York Cosmos made a triumphant return to the North American Soccer League this year by claiming the 2013 Soccer Bowl. Finishing with a 1-0 win against the Atlanta Silverbacks, Cosmos midfielder Marcos Senna secured a 2nd half goal after a series of spectacular saves by Kyle Reynish. The win represented a strong finish for the Cosmos, who had only suffered one defeat all season long.
Though the revival is fresh, the Cosmos name holds a lot of weight with North American soccer fans as the best team this part of the world during the 80’s. Numerous unsuccessful attempts were made to revive the Cosmos and American soccer scene, but low turnout prevented it until recently. The new Cosmos team was officially announced in August 2010, with the 2013 NASL season representing their first foray back into action.
And the Cosmos are just getting started. A proposal was recently submitted to the Empire State Development Counsel in New York City regarding construction of a brand new soccer stadium. Cosmos Stadium would serve as both a major retail hub and a home base for the New York Cosmos. The stadium is expected to generate an average revenue of $200 million annually, and will be developed by real estate mogul Carl Mattone and the Mattone Group.
The stadium is anticipated to help revitalize interest in the Cosmos as a local franchise, and eventually in American soccer as a whole. Though the stadium is currently under consideration, the stellar first season the Cosmos have walked away with is sure to help their brand get the jump start it needs.