Report: NYCFC Eyes Belmont For Stadium Site

Jonathan Lewis, NYCFC
NYCFC forward Jonathan Lewis and New England defender Andrew Farrell fight for the ball. Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the timing is ironic or a coincidence.

But just two days after New York City FC played a home game in Hartford, Conn., a report has surfaced that the MLS team is preparing a soccer stadium proposal for Belmont Park racetrack.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, Newsday reported that NYCFC would submit a bid to develop a stadium at Belmont, the home of the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The bid would compete with one from the New York Islanders, who are reportedly looking to construct a hockey arena on the site.

An e-mail sent to an NYCFC spokesperson was not immediately returned.

The match this past Saturday in Connecticut at Pratt & Whitney Stadium was necessitated after the New York Yankees has to schedule a makeup game with the Kansas City Royals that was played on Monday at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC’s previously scheduled Yankee Stadium match vs. Houston Dynamo was shifted to the Nutmeg State as the Yankee Stadium grounds crew would not have adequate time to transition the field from soccer to baseball.

While the possibility of a Belmont Park stadium proposal is a new development, it is not the first time a New York-area location for a soccer-specific stadium has been mentioned.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has previously spoken of the Willets Point area of Queens near Citi Field as a possible location for a new stadium for New York City FC.

In a recent interview with the Queens Chronicle, Katz said, “I would like to see soccer, at least, at Willets Point, along with affordable housing. Right now, only about 35 acres has the city taken over. So you wouldn’t probably be able to do the Islanders plus a soccer stadium there. If there is only one, I want soccer and affordable housing.”

Since their debut in 2015, New York City FC has called Yankee Stadium home and plays on a pitch that is smaller than all others in Major League Soccer. Over the past three years, there has been little discussion about a possible site for a new stadium.