With the New York Yankees advancing to the American League Championship Series (ALCS), the Oct. 22 match for New York City FC against the Columbus Crew has been shifted from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
The match, scheduled for Sunday, October 22, will begin last 4 p.m. The issue is not as much a direct conflict for a potential game date; the issue is that Yankee Stadium can’t be converted to a soccer venue in a short amount of time. As a result, moving the match to an alternate venue with such short notice — should the Yankees advance — would not be feasible due to ticketing, pitch and operational requirements. The move to Citi Field was enabled to decrease inconvenience for the NYCFC base: it’s served by mass transit and also features a sea of parking for even easier access to the stadium.
“Citi Field is an excellent ballpark which has hosted international soccer matches in the past,” said NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna. “From a Sporting perspective, this represents an easy transition which would allow our team to get the result we will be looking for.”
“While we are happy for our partners, the New York Yankees, we understand that relocating a home game is a significant challenge for fans,” said New York City FC President Jon Patricof. “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.”
New York City FC has clinched a spot in the 2017 MLS playoffs and currently stands in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference with two regular season games remaining.
This is the second move of the season for NYCFC. A Sept. 23 match against the Houston Dynamo was shifted to Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Renschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., due to a Yankee Stadium scheduling conflict.