At New York City FC’s season kickoff event Thursday night in Times Square, club president Brad Simms was asked about reports that his club would host the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League match against San Carlos at rival Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
“As it stands at the moment we don’t have a venue deal, contrary to the reports,” Simms said.
The former NBA executive was perhaps holding on to the hope that there would be a last-minute cure for the woes of crossing the Hudson River.
On Friday, NYCFC and Concacaf confirmed what the sporting director of San Carlos had already declared – City will play its round of 16 home match at RBA at on Feb. 26.
“It’s been an extremely frustrating process finding a venue,” Simms told supporters on Thursday. “Quite frankly, we felt we had more than one viable venue – a suitable venue within the five boroughs. We’ve been working hard to get a venue approved that we all would feel good about – the club and the fans. We have not had any luck there, unfortunately.”
In a club statement on Friday, Simms revealed a favor to season ticket holders for the hassle of crossing the river.
“Our focus now is to win and advance to the next round of the competition,” Simms said. “We understand and acknowledge this move causes inconvenience to our loyal fans. In light of these circumstances, we will make admission free to all 2020 City Members.”
If NYCFC advances past the round of 16, either Yankee Stadium or Citi Field would be available pending the Concacaf approval process.
Concacaf failed to endorse the alternate sites within the five boroughs believed to be Belson Stadium at St. John’s University or MCU Park – the home of baseball’s Brooklyn Cyclones.
Additional tickets purchased for game by city members will be $10.00 and for non-2020 city members will be $25.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports platforms and the Univision Deportes Network.