By DAN KARELL
New York City FC seem adamant that their game-day home will be within the five boroughs of New York City. However, that ideal isn’t extending to their training facilities, for now.
On Tuesday evening, the town of Harrison’s planning board approved a reported $10 million project funded by NYC FC to upgrade the athletic facilities at Manhattanville College, located in Purchase, N.Y., a hamlet of Harrison. NYC FC’s current plan is to use those facilities as their training ground.
The planning board voted 4-2 to approve the measure.
A source close to the situation told SBI that having the planning board approve the project was one of the last hurdles to jump over and that an official announcement will be made in the coming days.
According to a document on the Purchase Environmental Protection Association’s website, Manhattanville and NYC FC’s plan is to renovate and upgrade the current athletic facilities, with the document making clear that no new buildings will be built and there will be no expansion beyond the Manhattanville Athletic Department’s current footprint.
The project calls for a portion of Kennedy Gymnasium to be upgraded, including the removal of an indoor pool, upgrading the artificial and natural turf fields that are already located on campus, and the creation of a new half-sized grass field on an area that currently has tennis courts. Manhattanville no longer has Men’s and Women’s tennis, making the courts available to be demolished and the space turned into something else.
The current artificial turf field will be resurfaced, which is years overdue, and the grass field will have underground heating placed in. In addition to these improvements, new fencing, walkways, signing, and lighting will be added.
NYC FC is expected to fully fund the improvements and in return, be able to use the facilities as a temporary practice facility. The document states that once the team finds their own “standalone training facilities,” the upgraded facilities on Manhattanville’s campus will be donated to the college “in perpetuity.”
Although there is a main entrance off of Purchase St., NYC FC players and staff will enter the facilities in the back of the university by the athletics fields, from Manhattanville College Road.
NYC FC announced earlier this week that they will be playing at least their first season in Major League Soccer at Yankee Stadium, the baseball home of co-owners, the New York Yankees. The New York Times reported last week that NYC FC would be spending their first three seasons at Yankee Stadium.