Last Saturday was a good day for New York City FC fans: Not only did NYCFC log their most dominating performance of the year in a commanding 3-1 win over FC Dallas at Citi Field, The Outfield dropped their first piece of merch. The “New York City Wanderers US Home Tour” celebrates NYCFC’s stadium-less history with a righteous heavy metal concert tour-style shirt. You can buy it here.
Eight stadiums, five states, nine years and counting: What a long, strange trip it’s been. We caught up with The Outfield‘s Justin Egan to learn more about the design.
Hudson River Blue: What’s the inspiration for the design? Is there a specific concert tour shirt you had in mind, or is it more of an era?
Justin Egan: The design was something that I had been thinking about for a couple of years. Since 2015, the stadium situation has been the defining characteristic of our fandom, and I wanted something that could help reclaim some of the vitriol that we get around the league. I was a big metalhead growing up and bands like Iron Maiden, Mastodon, and Baroness not only put out awesome albums but had a coherent art style that really added value to their music. There was a Mastodon concert shirt that we gave to our graphic designer, Agatha Tito, but the badge on the front was an original creation.
HRB: Are there any details we should note, symbolism we shouldn’t miss?
JE: The retro style of the badge I think points towards our desire as fans to see the US Home Stadium tour come to an end, and leave this era of history in the past. No real other easter eggs in this one, but I am pretty sure that Kevin Nelson was drinking during the Atlanta game this year and made us change the eyes of the pigeon to orange. The groupthink with everyone at The Outfield really helped to make all of the little details pop.
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HRB: How does it feel to be in the merch business? Is this the beginning of a fashion empire?
JE: This was only possible because of the support from everyone in the NYCFC fan community. I don’t have a single design bone in my body, and the only reason this shirt was able to come to fruition was the money that we got off of our Substack subscriptions. Once we recoup our production costs, we will definitely look to make something else. If someone can get me Kwadwo Poku’s likeness rights, give me a holler.
New York City Wanderers US Home Tour merch is available at The Outfield’s webshop. The t-shirt is available in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes; the long-sleeved t-shirt is available in men’s sizes only. The design is also available as a poster.