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New York City FC will play its first three years in Yankee Stadium while a permanent home is found for the 2015 MLS expansion franchise, a league source said, confirming a report.
"There'll be an announcement next week. It's true,'' the source said.
After the Yankees and Manchester City soccer club bought the team in May, the question loomed where it would play. Announcements repeatedly have been pushed back.
"I know there are deadlines, but there's lots of enthusiasm,'' said Mark Holtzman, the Yankees' director of program development. "I don't think we would've gotten into this relationship [if we weren't prepared]. The Yankees do nothing unless it's thought out and planned out. We realized what we were getting into. And once again, we pride ourselves [on diversity] since this new stadium's been built.
"Look at all the things we've done here. We just had the NHL, we've had concerts, we're doing a lot of things we didn't do in the old stadium.''
Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed in August the franchise was negotiating for land by the Stadium, between the Major Deegan and E. 153rd Street., but with 2015 season just 11 months away, the new team needs a home, even just a temporary one.
"Obviously the start of the 2015 season is a year away, and you've got to sell tickets and there's a lot that has to be done, so clearly there has to be some sort of announcement soon,'' said Holtzman, who vowed the field wouldn't get torn up or compromised, a concern with the MLS season consisting of 17 home games and running from March to October, concurrent with baseball.
Holtzman pointed to the Pinstripe Bowl, regular-season college football games and several soccer exhibitions as evidence of the field's ability to hold up to the added punishment. The football games, however, occurred after the Yankees' season ended.
"We believe this is a year-round venue,'' Holtzman said.