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NYCFC fans excited to soon get permanent home in Queens: ‘Just natural’

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Though the question of where New York City FC will call home has been seemingly answered, how the club becoming a permanent fixture in Queens will impact the franchise is one that can only be answered over time. 

But the approval of their stadium at Willets Point has created renewed excitement for the franchise and fans see the move to the “World’s Borough” as an opportunity to create a new soccer culture within the five boroughs, with the MLS club at the center of it. 

“When you think about Queens, you think about one of the most diverse boroughs, and soccer is sort of that. It’s like a melting pot. It’s a beautiful game where everybody around the world comes together and watches,” said Mike Allen, who previously lived in Queens for seven years and has been a fan of the club since its inception. 

“The creation of the stadium and where it is will create more of a local soccer culture, and a proud soccer culture, in New York City.” 

The 25,000-seat, $780 million stadium, which was approved by the City Council last month, is slated to open in time for the 2027 MLS season.

If all goes according to plan, it will end the nomadic existence NYCFC has dealt with since it began play in 2015. 

Though the club came close to a stadium deal in The Bronx near Yankee Stadium — one of two ballparks the team uses for home games — the site in Queens appears to put it closer to its fan base and a soccer-centric demographic that its fans hope to convert into supporters. 

In fact, a majority of the club’s season-ticket base already hails from Queens, according to data provided to The Post by NYCFC.

And Elliott Montalvan, a member of the supporters group Los Templados, said a majority of its membership comes from the borough. 


NYFC will soon have a home in Queens. AP

“Queens, they call it the ‘World’s Borough,’ right? Every type of nation is represented in Queens, but from our standpoint, soccer is the primary sport,” Montalvan explained, noting that a large sect of Los Templados has an Ecuadorian background. “It’s king in the household. … Having a New York-based team in that borough, it’s just natural. It’s second nature to us.” 

Among the breakdown of where NYCFC’s season-ticket holders come from, 32.67 percent are from Queens, while The Bronx represents just 18.35 percent of the season-ticket base.

Additionally, the team boasts an ethically diverse and young fan base, according to team data. 

It is part of the reason that fan and co-host of the “NYCFC Forever Podcast” Jonathan Sanchez sees Queens as the perfect home for the club. 


New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at New York City Football Clubs (NYCFC) rally in support of the Willets Point Transformation, which will bring 100 percent affordable housing, economic activity, and New York City first-ever soccer-specific stadium to Queens.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at New York City Football Clubs (NYCFC) rally in support of the Willets Point Transformation, which will bring 100 percent affordable housing, economic activity, and New York City first-ever soccer-specific stadium to Queens. ZUMAPRESS.com

“I think the diversity of population here in Queens [will help],” Sanchez said. “I’m from Elmhurst, and I think Elmhurst speaks like 140 languages in one neighborhood, and that’s only three train stops away from Willets Point on the 7 [train]. Nothing against The Bronx or Brooklyn or the other boroughs, but the diversity in the communities has more of a factor of a natural soccer fan, and now it’s just to have them catch on to this team.” 

Though the general tone from fans who spoke with The Post was positive over the stadium site, founding season-ticket member J.R. DiBart, who also co-hosts the “Blue City Radio” podcast with Allen, expressed some disappointment at the team going to Willets Point. 

While he is “absolutely excited” about the new home, part of it stemmed from a concern over transit options compared to the failed plan near Yankee Stadium in 2021.

Another concern was that the team would lose some of its city identity not being in such a dense urban area like The Bronx. 

The project also includes new housing, a new public school, retail stores and a hotel, creating a new neighborhood around the stadium, which DiBart said did elevate some of his concerns. 

“From an urbanism standpoint, the biggest problem that people had with Willets Point is that it’s just a wasteland and it doesn’t feel like New York City,” DiBart explained. “The fact that they’re actually building a new neighborhood that is definitely essential to keep that New York City vibe alive. Whether they’ll be bodegas there, we’ll see.” 

But everyone was in agreement that the new stadium is a “massive” step for the franchise, as NYCFC CEO Brad Sims put it. 

“It does present limits on growing a fan base and really fulfilling the potential of a club,” Sims said of the battle the team has faced without a true home stadium. “We can’t manage the fan experience. Quite frankly we can’t generate the amount of revenues that other teams have, and generating revenues allows you to continue to invest in all areas of your business. … It’s almost like the stadium has been the dark cloud that’s hung over the club, and it’s one of these situations where we feel like the clouds have parted and the sun is shining.” 

He added: “Truly the light at the end of the tunnel is there.”

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