At long last, New York City FC, or NYCFC, of Major League Soccer will have a permanent stadium designed with soccer in mind. On Thursday, city authorities gave the go-ahead to construct a 25,000-seat stadium next to Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets.

With a vote of 47 to 1, the proposal was authorized by the council. Since the opening of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2012, this would be the first major league stadium to be constructed in the city.

The stadium for NYCFC will come from private funds. Given the location and the aim for a modern look and feel, the 25,000-seat venue will cost $780 million. Co-owned by the Yankees and the owner of Manchester City, Yankee Stadium serves as their primary home field.

New York City FC finally gets its own stadium

“The dream and promise of our club, I think, since day one—going back 10 years—was to build the first-ever soccer-specific stadium in New York City within the five boroughs. And we’ve been resolute about that promise, all the way through and in so it’s just very fulfilling to see a day like yesterday come together,” the club’s CEO, Brad Sims said.

“Being a tenant does not allow you to control your own destiny, whether that’s fan experience or revenue streams. With this new stadium, we will be able to monetize the stadium, through naming rights and hospitality, that we were not able to do while playing our games between Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.”

The new structure, according to Sims, should allow the team to sell more tickets.

“Premium seats at a baseball stadium are not the premium seats to watch soccer,” he said. “Right now, 80% of our matchday revenue is coming from general seating. In the new stadium, I think 80% or more of our revenue will be coming from premium seating or hospitality areas. It’s just a massive switch there, and then also the sponsorship opportunities are tremendous.”

Within the rehabilitation project, there will be a soccer-specific stadium, a new hotel, and retail spaces. There will also be a school and around 2,500 affordable houses for the community.

“This once-in-a-generation project will create a community like no other in New York City, with access to all-affordable housing, a brand-new public school, and New York City’s only soccer-specific stadium,” said council member Francisco Moya, who represents the Corona neighborhood where the project will be built.  

Unsuccessful tries to renovate Willets Point for NYCFC stadium

“Today’s City Council vote gets us one step closer to bringing this promise to life in Queens -– the World’s Borough will be our home for The World’s Game,” the club’s vice chairman, Marty Edelman, said in a statement released by the city.

It will be located near Citi Field and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which hosts the US Open. In the end, the City Council gave the go-ahead for the new stadium. Especially, after decades of fruitless attempts to renovate Willets Point, a seedy neighborhood lined with junkyards.

The City Planning Commission approved phase two of the project last month with a unanimous vote. Along with the stadium and a new public school, it also has hundreds of housing units with income restrictions. Mayor Eric Adams will give the project’s permission shortly.