NYCFC stadium next to Citi Field approved by NY City Council

New York City officials approved a plan Thursday to build a 25,000-seat stadium for Major League Soccer's New York City FC next to the New York Mets' stadium, Citi Field.

The $780 million soccer stadium, expected to open in 2027, will anchor a 23-acre (9-hectare) redevelopment project in the Willets Point neighborhood that will also include housing, a new public school, retail stores and a hotel.

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The new stadium will be New York City's first venue dedicated to professional soccer. NYCFC, which won the MLS championship in 2021, has primarily played its home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx since entering the league in 2015.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the New York Yankees, however, NYCFC has regularly been forced to play at Citi Field and even on occasion at the home of its MLS rivals, the New York Red Bulls.

In addition to Citi Field, the new soccer venue's neighbors will include the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the US Open is played.

The City Council approved the new stadium after decades of failed efforts to transform Willets Point, long a gritty cluster of auto body shops.

City officials have said that the stadium will be privately financed by NYCFC's owners, who include the Yankees and Manchester City Football Club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.

But the city's Independent Budget Office concluded that the actual cost to taxpayers for the stadium could be $516 million spread over the 49-year term of NYCFC's lease.

The analysis is based on what the city would have received in property taxes had it sold the land to the stadium's developers instead of leasing it.

The development team includes Related Companies and Sterling Equities, which is partly controlled by the Wilpon family, who used to own the Mets.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.