New York City officials have reached an agreement to build a 25,000 seat football stadium in Queens that will house the New York City Football Club.
It will be the city’s first professional soccer stadium and will be located in the Willets Points neighborhood, directly across from Citi Field, according to a report by The New York Times. Officials plan to complete development by 2027.
The stadium will be the centerpiece of a redevelopment project. Along with the new stadium, city officials plan to build a 250-room hotel and 2,500 accommodations, according to the Times.
“Queens, which is the borough of the world, will now become the home of football, which is the sport of the world,” Maria Torres-Springer, deputy mayor for economic and labor development, said on Tuesday. .
Taxpayer money will not be used to fund the stadium because the football team will pay for the entire construction of the stadium, which is estimated to cost $780 million, city officials said.
New York City owns the land on which the stadium and housing will be built. The land will be leased to the football club for 49 years. Rent will cost the team up to $4 million a year to lease the land and the club will have the option of a 25-year extension.
NYCFC began looking for a permanent home in 2012. The team was founded in 2013 and played home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The club played their first league game in 2015.
Late in the Bloomberg administration, officials planned to build a stadium for the team in the middle of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but local politicians and park advocates thwarted those plans, citing the team had enough money to play in an area that isn’t scarce for the land.
The team examined nearly 20 locations around the city, including near Yankee Stadium. In 2020, team owners planned to replace parking lots and an elevator parts factory near Yankee Stadium to make room for a new home. These plans – like the others – fell apart the following year.
To build hype, NYCFC plans to play a few home games at Citi Field before the new stadium opens in 2027.
“It’s pretty much a fantasy,” said Marty Edelman, vice-president of the football club. “We have been itinerant tenants in several different spaces. I think our fans need a different GPS every week to know where they’re going to watch us play.