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The Coop is On Deck: NYCFC Stadium Readies for Public Review
As NYCFC's stadium project approaches ULURP certification, the solution for potential parking conflicts emerges, and architectural drawings reveal stadium design and field dimensions.
NYCFC fans can now breathe a sigh of relief and hopefully never have to worry about parking spaces derailing the team’s stadium plans ever again. With less than a week remaining until the project’s expected certification into ULURP, The Outfield has learned how the development team plans to satisfy the city’s parking requirement should a deal with the Mets regarding the use of Citi Field lots not materialize.
NYCFC’s proposed stadium, with a capacity of 25,000 seats, necessitates a minimum of 1,000 parking spaces to be in compliance with New York City zoning regulations. The development team’s primary plan has revolved around utilizing the existing parking facilities at Citi Field, capitalizing on the proposed soccer stadium's close proximity to the Mets just across the street.
Earlier, NYCFC and the Mets had entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to allow NYCFC and City Football Group the use of up to 4,000 parking spaces at Citi Field. However, the Mets’ owner, Steve Cohen, has reportedly threatened to revoke the parking spots in an attempt to further his aspirations for a casino development adjacent to Citi Field. During a meeting with Queens Community Board 7’s Housing and Land Use Committee, the development team revealed that alternative solutions would be detailed in the upcoming Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Public documents obtained today by The Outfield detail the plan to use other nearby parking garages.
With the availability of other nearby parking, Cohen’s leverage appears diminished. However, the primary objective remains securing an agreement with the Mets for the use of the closer Citi Field lots for NYCFC game days and other events to be held at the proposed soccer stadium.
Is a Larger Pitch Size Coming?
Complaints from opposing fans about the field dimensions at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field have become ingrained in NYCFC culture. Using these two baseball stadiums as home venues has naturally provided constraints on pitch size. There has been much speculation about the eventual dimensions of NYCFC’s future permanent home.
While precise measurements are not yet available, new architectural drawings obtained by The Outfield offer a rough estimate. The image below from the Stadium Ground Floor Plan shows a length of 403 feet and a width of 282 feet from wall to wall on the field level. Based on these measurements in relation to the pitch lines, the dimensions appear to be 74.8 yards wide and 114.1 yards long.
Additional architectural drawings reveal expected signage on the outside of the stadium, all currently bearing “Sponsor Stadium” or “Sponsor Name”. However, it is still expected that Etihad Airways will secure naming sponsorship rights once the stadium is completed.
What’s Next? Kicking off the Public Review
Certification into the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is expected to take place on Monday, October 2nd. If that date is missed for some reason, certification would likely occur at the City Planning Commission’s next review session on October 16th. Queens Community Board 7 would then have 60 days to offer feedback and provide a recommendation on the proposed development, followed by a recommendation by the Queens Borough President. Once those recommendations are completed, the City Planning Commission (CPC) will hold a public hearing on the project, resulting in approval or disapproval.
Following an approval by the CPC, New York City Council has 50 days to approve or disapprove the project, followed by an approval or veto by the Mayor within five days. The ULURP process can take as long as 205 days, putting the latest ULURP completion date at April 23, 2024 if certification does occur on October 2nd.
With public support well-documented by both Mayor Eric Adams and City Councilman Francisco Moya, the proposed project would be expected to pass through the City Council and mayoral approvals.
Entering ULURP would mark a significant milestone for NYCFC’s stadium aspirations. The target is to have the public review process wrapped up by Spring 2024. Once that happens, shovels can go in the ground and NYCFC fans can eagerly begin the countdown to the much-anticipated 2027 season opener. ❧
Image: Willets Point Soccer Stadium Project, Phase 2 ULURP Submission