NYCFC is getting the boot from Yankee Stadium for the second time this season. But this time fans will only be asked to shell out for a MetroCard fare.
The MLS club announced Thursday that due to the Yankees’ run to the American League Championship Series against Houston that the team’s final regular season home game of the season will be played at the Mets’ Citi Field in Queens.
NYCFC played its Sept. 23 “home” game against the Houston Dynamo in Hartford – more than 100 miles away – after a Yankees make-up date forced the third-year club to find a new place to play. NYCFC has shared Yankee Stadium since joining Major League Soccer as an expansion franchise ahead of the 2015 season.
NYCFC’s game against Columbus Crew on Sunday, Oct. 22 will remain at 4 p.m.
“Citi Field is an excellent ballpark which has hosted international soccer matches in the past,” NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said in a press release. “From a Sporting perspective, this represents an easy transition which would allow our team to get the result we will be looking for.”
The club said that the additional prep work needed to get Yankee Stadium ready for a possible World Series was the reason for the shift in venue.
The Yankees will host Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Tuesday next week and then a possible Game 5 on Wednesday.
If the Yankees advance, Game 1 of the World Series will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 24. A first home World Series game at the Stadium wouldn’t be played until Game 3 on Friday, Oct. 27 given that the remaining National League clubs all had a better regular season record than the Yankees.
With all the additional pomp and circumstance – plus security issues – of a possible World Series, NYCFC had no other option but to find a Plan B for the second time in the last month.
“While we are happy for our partners, the New York Yankees, we understand that relocating a home game is a significant challenge for fans,” NYCFC president Jon Patricof said. “We feel Citi Field will give our team the best chance of success on the field and provide a good environment for our incredible fans.”
The Yankees own a small piece of the MLS franchise.
NYCFC is currently in second place in the MLS’ Eastern Conference standings with two games to play. The team has already clinched a playoff spot. The team needs to maintain the second seed (and the playoff bye) to likely avoid further scheduling headaches for the postseason.
The club announced that fans who have tickets for the Oct. 22 game will receive an email about ticketing options.