New York City FC are the defending MLS Cup champions, they’re gearing up for their foray into the 2022 Concacaf Champions League, and on Tuesday announced their opening home game will come...at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium?
Yep, you read that right. NYCFC will host Santos de Guapiles from Costa Rica on Feb. 23 at The Banc in the second leg of the tie.
From the club’s release:
The Club’s primary and secondary home venues, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, are not CONCACAF-approved venues. NYCFC’s third-choice venue, Red Bull Arena, is the only CONCACAF-approved venue in the immediate New York City metropolitan area, but is also unavailable due to stadium and pitch renovations. Therefore, the Club has needed to look outside the NYC area and settled on Banc of California Stadium due to the Club’s away game against LA Galaxy being played nearby just four days later.
We’ve seen NYCFC have to get increasingly creative over the years to find a place to play when they can’t go at Yankee Stadium, and the recent default to playing at Red Bull Arena, their local rivals’ home stadium, was already depressing enough. But to now relocate the game on the other side of the continent, which will either require fans to travel across the continent or watch from home, is pretty bizarre.
Angels on Parade has reached out to LAFC for comment on this odd turn of events and to see if there’s any insight on who will run ticketing for the game. I would hope whoever does puts the tickets at a truly affordable price and gives LA-area soccer fans a chance to catch a game before the MLS season starts, but we’ll see on that front.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.