Here are some things we know about New York City's MLS expansion team: It will be called New York City Football Club (or NYCFC) and begin play in 2015. We know they're looking for a site for a permanent stadium, with an interest in building one in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. And we know a permanent venue won't be completed in time for the team's debut season, meaning it'll have to play somewhere else on a temporary basis.
That somewhere might just be Yankee Stadium. Via DNAinfo, Mayor Bloomberg casually mentioned that NYCFC would play at Yankee Stadium during his weekly radio address this weekend:
"Just look at our three newest sports arenas: the new Yankee Stadium; the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets; and the Mets' home base, Citi Field. Each pumps millions of dollars into our economy with every game they host. And each venue is gearing up to play an even bigger role in our city’s economy,” said Bloomberg, according to a transcript that was amended roughly one hour after it was posted on his website.
"Yankee Stadium will become the home of the New York City Football Club, the first soccer club in the five boroughs since the 1970s," Bloomberg said. "Barclays will add the New York Islanders to its roster in 2015. And, of course, Citi Field is hosting Tuesday’s All-Star Game.”
But what about the changes to the transcript, as pointed out by DNAinfo? The transcript of Bloomberg's remarks now includes the following paragraph:
"Just look at our two newest sports arenas: the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets; and the Mets’ home base, Citi Field. Each pumps millions of dollars into our economy with every game they host. And soon a new stadium will become home to the New York City Football Club, the first soccer club in the five boroughs since the 1970s. Each venue will play an even bigger role in our city’s economy."
Absent from that version is any mention of Yankee Stadium. (Present, meanwhile, is some poor wording: Yankee Stadium is the same age as Citi Field, so to call Citi and the Barclays Center the city's newest two venues suggests some careless editing took place.)
Perhaps Bloomberg misspoke, or perhaps he revealed something he wasn't supposed to reveal yet. But in any case, it would make sense for NYCFC, in need of a venue, to play at Yankee Stadium: The club, after all, will be a partnership between the Yankees and Manchester City FC.
Bloomberg's original remarks didn't specify whether Yankee Stadium would be used on a temporary or permanent basis, but the latter seems highly unlikely. NYCFC doesn't need a stadium with such a large capacity, and the trend in Major League Soccer is for teams to play at soccer-specific facilities. (This is to say nothing of the effect the constant changes to the playing surface would have on the baseball diamond for Yankees games.) But in the short term, what better way for NYCFC to drive home their association with the Yankees (and their already-established brand) than to play for a while in their home park.
Update: Julie Wood from the mayor's press office passes along the following statement:
"The script for the Mayor's radio address on Sunday overstated the possibility that the New York Football Club could play some games at Yankee Stadium while they search for a permanent home. No decision has been made on where they will play. Wherever they end up, we are thrilled to welcome Major League Soccer to New York City, where pro sports are creating jobs and pumping millions into our economy."