USA: New York City FC’s Willets Point development

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USA: New York City FC’s Willets Point development After winning the MLS Supporters Shield in 2019 and finishing with the best regular-season record, New York City FC have continued to go from strength to strength. However, the club since its inception has had to rely on the hospitality of the New York Yankees. Soon, though, this state of affairs is about to change.


A succesful but homeless club

NYCFC won the 2021 MLS Cup and boast the third-best points-per-season average of any club in league history all whilst developing some stunning young talent.

It seems surprising, therefore, that the team has historically been without its own ground, with home matches instead being played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. That is until now.

A brand-new, state-of-the-art stadium for NYCFC is currently in development. We take a look at the ambitious new plans and what to expect from the venue.

Yankee Stadium© Ricky

What do we know so far

There have been plenty of false starts with regard to getting a football stadium in New York. Manhattan, Nassau County, and the Bronx were originally intended locations to house the venue, however, developers were met with local opposition so plans were dropped from all three areas.

Finally, New York’s mayor Eric Adams approved plans for work to begin on the 25,000-seat stadium in Willets Point, an industrial estate in Queens.

Discussions regarding the time of the stadium’s official opening are ongoing but the aim is for the stadium to be fully up and running in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

This certainly seems doable, given that the process of presenting the plans for final approval are well underway, so it shouldn’t be long before the Third Rail have a permanent home to watch their team.

Design of Willets Point Stadium© New York City FC


In addition to the stadium, the public-private partnership with the City of New York will also feature an affordable housing project, a new elementary school, hotel and retail provision, and a large area of open space.

The team behind the project has also committed to providing over 16,500 jobs through construction and operations with priority being given to those who are local to Willets Point.

A greener stadium

The club has outlined an impressive sustainability plan with some ambitious developments in the pipeline. The venue will be the first professional sports stadium in New York to go fully electric as well as the first net zero carbon certified arena.

In addition to the all-electric effort, the venue will also feature a water harvesting system which includes strategies to reduce water usage and conserve energy consumption throughout the stadium.

When it comes to constructing the site, the team has pledged to use local materials in a bid to reduce the impact of transportation.

Design of Willets Point Stadium© New York City FC

Global Reach

NYCFC is twinned with Manchester City so has garnered interest from soccer fans across the pond. The team also has a significant global fan base, with supporters hailing from all across the globe so it’s likely many of the stadium's 25,000 seats will be taken up by an international audience, particularly with the impending 2026 World Cup.

However, it’s not just the soccer that will attract the crowds. Millions of people are taking advantage of the huge number of cheap flights to New York City and they certainly aren’t all headed there just for the sport.

Cultural institutions such as MoMA, the bright lights of Broadway, and world-renowned landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty are just some of the highlights that make New York a once-in-lifetime destination. The city is also a shopping haven and crammed full of interesting places to drink and dine so it’s no surprise that it’s a number one destination for so many.

Now, with a state-of-the-art stadium at the heart of its sporting culture things certainly seem to be getting better for the city that already seems to have it all!

Design of Willets Point Stadium© New York City FC