Earlier today New York City FC announced it will host Costa Rica’s Santos de Guápiles Fútbol Club in the second leg of Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League matchup at Banc of California Stadium, home to Los Angeles Football Club. The game will be held on Wednesday, February 23 at 6 pm ET.
In a statement issued by the club, NYCFC explained that Yankee Stadium is not a CONCACAF-approved venue. Citi Field, NYCFC’s second home, is also not CONCACAF-approved; Red Bulls Arena, NYCFC’s other home-away-from-home, is unavailable because of stadium and field renovations.
Seemingly that left…the entire rest of the country. The creative minds at NYCFC HQ didn’t just think outside of the box, they thought outside of the time zone, and chose Banc of California Stadium, LAFC’s state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium with its clean sight lines and a peek-a-boo view of the Los Angeles skyline. So what if it’s a mere 2800 miles away from New York City? Opened in 2018, Banc of California Stadium has a capacity of 22,000 spectators—we look forward to watching the Costa Rican community of Los Angeles fill those seats.
Irritation aside, there is a method to NYCFC’s stadium madness. According to the club, NYCFC CEO Brad Sims stated:
“It is frustrating that this home game will be played on the other side of the country. However, with our season opener at LA Galaxy only a few days later and our inability to play at Yankee Stadium or one of our alternative home venues, we felt that this arrangement gave our club the best possible chance for two positive results that week as we look to do well in SCCL and begin the defense of the title.”
In other words, this Left Coast residency is for the good of the team. NYCFC will camp out in Cali for a spell, settle in, set themselves up to play in the Concacaf Champions League then take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the season opener on Sunday, February 27 at 5 pm ET.
In that case: Go west, young men. Slather on the sunscreen, hit the juice bars, send us pictures of our favorite players on inflatable unicorns in the team pool. Just remember that the Bronx is your real home.