New York Islanders And NYCFC Have A Lot in Common
By Jacob Seus
While New York Islanders fans await patiently for word on their potential new stadium, rumor has started that they may have a neighbor.
The grounds at Belmont Hill are coveted not only by the New York Islanders and their plans to build a hockey first arena, but by Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club (NYCFC).
In the midst of its third season, NYCFC currently plays its home matches at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. When the team came into the league they signed a three-year deal to play in the baseball stadium and with that lease about to expire, they have no current plans to go anywhere else.
NYCFC and the Islanders have a lot in common. They both play second fiddle to a “big brother” team in the New York area and both have many unanswered questions regarding future stadiums.
NYCFC and the Yankees have not had a great working relationship since they moved into the stadium. The Yankees have not been thrilled about the baseball field constantly being replaced by a soccer pitch during the baseball season.
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NYCFC is already being forced to move a home match during September to be played in Hartford, Connecticut because of a Yankees rain out being made up. Not a good look to local supporters. Even though NYCFC is partially owned by the Yankees, the Bronx bombers obviously have rights to the stadium.
Sounds like the Islanders and Brooklyn Nets, doesn’t it? At least it hasn’t gotten so bad that the Islanders must play an occasional home game, away from home.
Like the New York Islanders, NYCFC is on the look out for a site to build a new stadium. Also, like the Islanders, the team has looked at Belmont Park as a possibility to be its new home. It is reported that the architecture firm building the soccer team’s new training facility was in Belmont Park last week.
NYCFC could very well re-sign at Yankee Stadium but that just doesn’t seem like a long-term solution. Like the Islanders and the Barclays Center, it’s fair to say Yankee Stadium wants them out.
While it doesn’t seem that NYCFC has made a bid for Belmont, having a new contender in the process is a little disheartening. Especially one with the financial might of Manchester City and their owner Sheikh Mansour who has an estimated wealth of $20 billion all to himself.
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It will be interesting to see what happens with both teams a year or two from now. Both are in desperate need for a new facility and Belmont Park seems more than perfect for both.