NYCFC withdraws plans for Manhattanville College training facility

New York City FC


New York City FC’s hopes to build a training facility at Manhattanville College are over.

Club officials have told Manhattanville College that they cannot wait for a resolution to the lawsuit seeking to block the new construction and will look elsewhere for a site, the school announced Friday.

NYCFC had proposed renovating existing facilities and adding a new soccer field at the Purchase, N.Y. college campus and the plan had received approval from the local planning board. But the Purchase Environmental Protective Association filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court on Wednesday to block the action.

“It is unfortunate that a small group of very well resourced citizens chose to pursue this action against the College,” Manhattanville College President Jon C. Strauss said in a statement Friday. “Had this partnership come to fruition, it would have provided $10 million in much needed capital improvements, important academic and internship opportunities, and invaluable publicity to the College.”

The environmental group sued over traffic concerns and worries the team would continue to practice at Manhattanville past the end of the five-year lease. The plan called for the club to gift the training facilities to the college after the lease expired.

But this is nothing new for the college — the New York Rangers had sought in the 1990s to build an ice hockey rink for training there, but community opposition stopped it and the school was left without hockey facilities.

NYCFC, which will join Major League Soccer as an expansion team and begin play in 2015, continues to search both for training facilities and for a permanent site for their stadium. They will play at Yankee Stadium until a stadium is built.


What do you think of this news? Will this hurt NYCFC’s timeline to get facilities in place before the 2015 season? What other sites should they look at?

Share your thoughts below.

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60 Responses to NYCFC withdraws plans for Manhattanville College training facility

  1. Karls says:

    Money talks bull sh!t walks in this country

  2. Jay Boca says:

    No stadium of their own.

    Have to play games in a baseball stadium.

    Can’t even build a training facility.

    Chivas USA looks better run in comparison.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Seriously suggesting a team owned by City playing in Yankee Stadium with probably a few big name DPs that could probably turn right and cough and finish midtable, is somehow worse than the worst attended team in the league (8700) that is last in the West? They actually prove SSSs don’t do a thing unless you have a likeable organization, concept, players, and fanbase.

      • slowleftarm says:

        We have clearly found this site’s one and only fanboy for NY Yankees FC.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          No, he’s not admitting how bad Chivas is by about every possible metric, and how easy it would be to surpass them. They have 10 points from 12 games. The next worst attended team gets 2500 more fans/game.

          Playing in a baseball stadium is less than ideal but if you took a step back and someone said, the team will be playing temprorarily in Yankee Stadium, that does not actally sound very bad. And they will be bankrolled by City and are already being linked with big names.

          Am I concerned MLS is handing out franchises too easy to teams with no home? I’ve said that a few dozen times. But objectively NY City is in OK shape, and better than some teams who have an SSS.

          • slowleftarm says:

            NYCFC is already far better than Chivas, I will certainly grant you that.

            Personally I think that MLS should have added Orlando and then stopped at 20 for a little while. But I understand that means forgoing huge expansion fees. I think going beyond 24 is problematic without going to some kind of MLS2 pro/rel type format (spare me the anti-pro/rel arguments please). I think by rushing to get to 24, we may wind up with the last 4 expansion teams being whoever is available and willing to pay a huge fee instead of cities that are the best long-term candidates for MLS success.

            For example – clearly the Atlanta team is going to be a total dud. That’s the worst sports city in America and they don’t support any of their teams. But right now Arthur Blank has a huge wad of money to give MLS so Atlanta is in, even though they’re going to play in an NFL stadium.

            • Andy in Atlanta says:

              Atlanta has already sold out its 5000 season ticket seat licenses for a team that is not even starting play until 2017 in a stadium designed with soccer in mind… clearly going to be dud… lol…

              • slowleftarm says:

                Well every other sports team in that city is pathetically supported so I don’t see why an MLS team playing in an NFL stadium in Atlanta is so appealing. And those 5,000 fans were putting down $50 each. Let’s see how many of those 5,000 actually buy season tickets.

              • Andy in Atlanta says:

                @ slowleftarm… you realize that many of those that paid the $50 are also going to be getting more than 1 ticket… I am buying 4 off than one fee paid.

              • slowleftarm says:

                That’s fine but I don’t see Atlanta as a good MLS expansion candidate because the stadium situation is bad and the team is not a good sports town.

                This isn’t anything personal against Atlanta or the south. I actually think the same thing about NYC. It hasn’t demonstrated that it’s a good MLS town and therefore doesn’t merit a second team.

              • Neruda says:

                Andy, it doesn’t matter what you say because slow has his mind fixed.

              • slowleftarm says:

                Not true at all. But it takes more than a few thousand people plunking down $50 to convince me Atlanta is going to be a good MLS franchise. This is one case where I would love to be wrong.

              • Andy in Atlanta says:

                I really do not get what you have against the stadium? This is not going to be a team playing in Gillette like the Revs… the stadiums lower bowl is designed for soccer and the above tier is going to be covered… the bottom is going to seat about 30K… I think Atlanta fills that regularly for MLS… especially early on… then it will be up to Blank to put a good product on the field… he is genuinely committed making a winner out of the Falcons and the new MLSATL team

              • slowleftarm says:

                It’s a huge NFL style bowl and covering up the top deck doesn’t make it any better. No way, in my opinion, will Atl average 30,000 fans, not even in the first season.

              • don Lamb says:

                slow, you are ignoring the fact that Atlanta is one of the most important markets in the country. A successful 20 year organic grassroots movement might still not be able to produce the things that Atlanta has going for it right NOW: big time ownership, a downtown stadium, and access to one of the biggest markets in the country.

                Also, what if in 20 years MLS is so big that the current SSSs are too small? The Atlanta situation will look ingenious. I see that as just as big of a possibility as the stadium being woefully under attended.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              I think the number obsession is a distortion with potentially bad downside. One of the recent virtues of MLS is no one has moved or folded since SJ went to Houston, and they have arguably come out smelling like a rose on that with the Dynamo rolling along and the NewQuakes working on a stadium.

              The other recent expansion teams were the better attended USL teams, low risk, some already even had stadia.

              But these new ones are not sure things. City would be NYC2, Orlando is small town, and don’t get me started on the other two.

              The desire for large franchise fees is part of what sent NASL on its spiral, because the fee distorts the selection process. You quit thinking about risk (or at least being as tough about it) and you just start cashing checks without thinking.

              The EPL does fine with 20 and I don’t understand the magic number obsession. In fact, it seems to just keep growing. First it was, let’s get an even 20. People had their arguments why it needed to be exactly 20, even number of teams, equal conferences, etc. Then it became 22, 24. [A variation on this is how we “need” to get to a big number that can then be split into MLS1 and MLS2, pro/rel, etc.] It starts to look like the only point to the number is that it’s bigger than the current size and thus justifies the next team.

            • Neruda says:

              Slowleft, you are writing off nycfc and Atlanta before they have even started. There are reasons to say they won’t succeed but looking back to RSL (I was there from game 1 when they played at a large college turf stadium with football lines) there was no reason to think that club would succeed. They’ve become a class team because of one guy, Jason kries.

              I say we let these teams/supporters prove themselves before we issue a verdict.

              • slowleftarm says:

                You’re right that time will tell. But I don’t see any reason why I need to wait before expressing an opinion on how these teams will do in the future.

              • Neruda says:

                Express yourself all you want. It all sounds rather presumptious.

                There are issues to be sure, however if we look at the upward trend of MLS there is more reason to believe they’lll be good clubs that improve MLS.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                slowleftarm: I don’t have any problem with you expressing your opinion—in fact, I often find your comments insightful. But I think you do express them a bit too strongly at times.

                For example, writing “clearly the Atlanta team is going to be a total dud,” doesn’t read like opinion. It reads like fact.

                Also, you started on this thread by calling The Imperative Voice a “fanboy.” That’s not really an opinion, it’s an insult—and, as TIV illustrated, an uninformed insult at that.

              • BK says:

                slowleftarm says:
                May 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

                “You’re right that time will tell. But I don’t see any reason why I need to wait before expressing an opinion on how these teams will do in the future.”


                That’s why.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The expansion teams meriting the comparison are Miami and maybe Atlanta. Miami has no home and a poor history of supporting soccer. But OC gets Chivas’ attendance in the minors, and NYC still looks better than Chivas even with the glitches.

    • bryan says:

      nice hyperbole.

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The number of people who seem to want the team to fail is pretty mind boggling. NYCFC is going to be one of the major milestones in the history of our league. MLS is doing so much right at the moment, you’d think more people would notice

    • slowleftarm says:

      Why is this a milestone? They’re a totally unwanted and unnecessary expansion team. MLS isn’t even on the radar screen in NYC and splitting the tiny NYC MLS fanbase isn’t the answer. Playing in a baseball stadium to start and by the time it’s all said and done, they’ll probably be playing in Westchester, despite all the hoopla about how the city finally will have a team.

      MLS is doing a lot right and its growth has been amazing. But I don’t think this is one of those right things. On the other hand, the league got a nice $100m expansion fee so I understand why it was done.

      • JayAre says:

        I don’t understand why MLS fans like yourself are so snobbish. You seem to forget that MLS is a business and which business doesn’t want to grow and expand its brand? You don’t wait for the big cities to come to you. You go to the big city and take it. Can you imagine Google, Microsoft or Tesla say we aren’t on _____ market radar screen so we won’t expand our business investments into the region? Don always knew NYC would be tough that why he gave it to a group that was fully capable of handling it. Success in the big markets like ATL, MIA and NYC will propel MLS to the next level and the after that we can come back to the smaller cities like San Antonio, Carolina and Minnesota

        • slowleftarm says:

          Atlanta and Miami are horrible sports towns and MLS already has a team in NYC, which apparently is forgotten. And they play in one of the best SSS in the country, not a baseball stadium! Yes, I know it’s a whopping 20 minute PATH ride from the city to RBA. But, guess what – NYCFC isn’t going to be in the five boroughs either, unless they stay at Yankee Stadium forever. Westchester isn’t any better than Harrison!

          Personally, I think MLS is better off being in a smaller market where the team is a big deal and is a well supported instead of being an afterthought in bigger markets.

      • Matt in Bklyn says:

        I agree: “splitting the tiny NYC MLS fanbase isn’t the answer.” That said, MLS has come a long way and is doing good. They’re going to get another boost from the WC this year.

      • Drew11 says:

        It’s a milestone because somebody wants to invest $400+ million in a US Soccer club . U could have bought the entire league for less than that a decade ago.

    • Drew11 says:

      Not really. Seems like pretty standard NIMBY stuff here.

  4. JayAre says:

    So whats the plan B? they’ve go to train somewhere.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I expect the training to be the easy part. Some club or college will work with them on a place to train. The benefit of the MC site was going to be the ability to renovate it into the facility they wanted, with long term benefit to the school. Even if they can’t get someone to agree to this type of arrangement I can’t believe they’ll have no-where to practice.

      The more real hurdle is the stadium itself, whether a NYC home will be possible.

  5. wood chip ziip says:

    That sucks for the college.

    Come on down to Manhattanville!

  6. A.S. says:

    NIMBY strikes again.

  7. Del Griffin says:

    I’m in CT and red bulls is too far away in NJ and no way am I supporting the LI second division team, so this club will def be my team. If they get David Villa, I’m getting a jersey post haste. Easy train to Yankee stadium, tickets are inexpensive. Can’t wait for this club.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Finally an optimistic person! Kudos to you.

      I’m a Dynamo fan, but I certainly hope that the league’s endeavors pan out well, unlike a lot of posters here.

      • don Lamb says:

        clearly, other new yorkers are already jealous and threatened by NYC FC. should be a nice rivalry!

    • cabrito says:

      Oh, so you’re a real soccer “fan”. You’re just the kind of “soccer groupie” NYCFC is looking for.

      • Del Griffin says:

        I don’t know what that means, but I have been following the MNT casually since 2002, and more seriously since last WC. Now looking to support an MLS team as my fervor for baseball wanes. I don;t know why the hell US soccer supporters would try to shun that kind of fan, but whatevs, I know there are plenty of snobs,.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Snobbishness permeates US soccer fandom for some reason. Welcome aboard.

          Your team hasn’t started playing yet but I already hate them. It’s strange too because I’m also a huge Yankees fan but I’ve been a RBNY supporter for too long to even think about switching.

          • The Garrincha says:

            I do agree with you there slowlefty.
            however I support all three NY/Tri State, area teams,
            Cosmos included
            quick thought on how many teams?
            more teams, more players, more jobs, more money, the bigger the pool, the deeper the pool, the greater the talent, the better the team. exponential.

            • slowleftarm says:

              In MLS? I think in the long run, we could have maybe 40 teams but I don’t think a league that big is workable so I’d go with 2 20 team divisions with pro/rel. I don’t want to get into the pro/rel arguments though because they’re tedious.

              Ideally, MLS should be patient in growing. There’s no need, other than expansion fees, to rush into substandard situations like in Atlanta, NYCFC and Miami.

              • don Lamb says:

                You have different aspirations than Don Garber, that is for sure. I am glad he is running the league and not someone who is satisfied with the current status. This league can be HUGE, but it’s not going to get there with your nancy attitude.

        • don Lamb says:

          Del – you are the man. don’t listen to anybody else. it’s always a great time to become a fan of the league or a fan of a team in the league. not sure what other people have a problem with, but you are right that they give “soccer people” a bad name. we need you, brother.

  8. NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

    So nycfc and cosmos are at the same stage, right.
    Who will get their stadium first, who?
    Both got money, both teams are gonna be big some day.
    Who will survive this game of soccer fortune :-)

    • slowleftarm says:

      Hempstead Cosmos going to be big? Haha, yeah maybe they can add a temporary stand to the Hofstra stadium.

      • don Lamb says:

        Harrison Red Bulls and the Hempstead Cosmos. No wonder Don sees a need for a team in NYC.

  9. TheSoccerDude says:

    I am an RSL fan, and I want NYCFC to succeed. I likely will buy one of their jerseys as soon as they are available.

  10. MeroMasta says:

    I don’t understand the hate, but then again this is the internet.

    As a US fan that’s been around before MLS, I root for every team and the league to do well. It will only make everyone else better. I just root for the USMNT and the RBNY a little more than the rest. I really hope NYCFC get the stadium and training facilities. :-)

    • wood chip ziip says:

      Hate is a good thing for MLS; it means people care. Fan comes from the word fanatic

  11. flagermunsen. says:

    I hope NYCFC is an economic success even though I will not be a fan– I have an MLS team. When MLS started I heard ad nauseum how the league was going to fail within 5 years like every other new professional league from talking heads. The print journalists were even more negative. Editors went out of there way to slag the game. Most refused to give any publicity to MLS. It was ridiculed and fans were considered odd balls who were wasting their time. I cry tears of joy every time a new SSS opens. I breath a sigh of relief when I hear a team has over 10K season ticket holders. I remember when MLS had to buy TV time and then sell the ads themselves. I am grateful when a $100M TV contract is signed. Having a second team in NYC that is economically viable puts MLS that much closer to ensuring that it will thrive in the long run. NYC will be a magnet for better players and hopefully that has a ripple effect. It is an opportunity for x number of young domestic players to develop. If they are viable, they may even open an academy to develop more domestic talent. Go NYCFC– I hope you are a economically viable venture and if you are not, let’s hope that Sheik Mansour is willing to bank roll the club for the long run or sell it to someone who will.

  12. chivo says:

    Is this environmental group the same one that derailed the stadium in Queens? If so, then someone has an agenda.

    • slowleftarm says:

      The stadium in Queens isn’t happening because it was an enormous giveaway from the city of New York to the Yankees and one of the richest men in the world – not exactly the most inviting recipients for public largess.

  13. dan says:

    pathetic how a small amount of loudmouths with money can ruin something that was great for the college and the community.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Do you see the irony of your criticism and college President Strauss’ similar statement—““It is unfortunate that a small group of very well resourced citizens chose to pursue this action….”? The team is “a small amount of loudmouths with money.” The team is “a small group of very well resourced [people].”

      The community gets to decide what they think is “great” for them, and they chose against this. Argue against their reasons, but not against their right to oppose or to have other goals or priorities.

      • atd says:

        The “community” chose FOR it — they approved it through their planning board after a series of well-advertised public hearings. A group of property owners / private citizens who claim to be acting in the public interest got their way because NYCFC decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to go through the litigation process (which should tell you, by the way, that they don’t expect much trouble building somewhere else…).

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          “A group of property owners / private citizens”

          That sounds like a community—that, in this case, doesn’t share the same opinions as other people in the community (viz. the planning board and the college). So?

  14. Tim F. says:

    How about SUNY Purchase?

  15. Brain Guy says:

    Maybe the sheikh saw “Manhattanville” and thought it was in Manhattan.

    I second slowleftarm’s comments above. This was not well thought out, and will not generate the humongous benefits that Garber claims, especially when you net out the effect on RBNY.