Major League Soccer club New York City FC has unveiled images of its plans for the city’s first soccer-specific stadium, and they look spectacular.
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NYCFC has received approval to build a new 25,000-seat arena in Willets Point, an industrial neighborhood in Queens, right next to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets baseball team. The club hopes to complete the $780 million project in time to make the team their home for the 2027 MLS season.
The 2021 MLS Cup winner hopes the stadium will form a central part of a major revitalization of the area that New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced in November and, according to the club, will be the city’s largest 100% affordable housing development in 40 years.
The proposals include housing, pedestrian-friendly streets, a variety of retail and dining outlets, a school, a hotel, a new NYCFC stadium with more than 40,000 square feet of public space and an adjacent concourse, which will provide a permanent home for the team for a long time.
NYCFC has been playing its home games since 2015 at Yankee Stadium, the eponymous home of the New York Yankees baseball team. However, scheduling conflicts have often forced MLS teams to play matches in New Jersey and Connecticut in recent years.
The club, part of the City Football Group which comprises 12 teams including Manchester City and Melbourne City, has explored the possibility of building its own stadium in New York on several occasions in the past. However, proposed plans for sites in Queens and the South Bronx proved unworkable. But now, with the latest project getting the green light, the club has shared architects’ renderings of the arena, which they hope will serve as a community resource on non-match days.
The club says the stadium was designed using five key principles: first and foremost to create the best possible live experience for soccer fans in New York; It needs to represent the city in an authentic way, be organically embedded in the local community, future-proof and sustainably built.
The images depict a modern area with single-tier “coop” style stands on three sides (complete with designated safe standing areas) and a large, four-tier executive stand on the other. The famous NYCFC smokestacks will rise from the top of one of the stands, designed with fans hanging large banners to display Tifo.
Exterior views of the stadium reveal that the main entrance will take the form of a large illuminated “cube” in the southwest corner of the plot. The plaza will feature dynamic imagery on match days and act as a welcoming entrance to the ground for fans.
The specific location of the NYCFC Bowl in the heart of an urban city neighborhood was inspired by various existing stadiums around the world, including Fulham’s Craven Cottage.