NYCFC CEO, Brad Sims touts future 2027 Queens stadium as “game changer”

NYCFC new stadium
First renderings of NYCFC’s new stadium (Photo courtesy of S9 Architecture)

With a solid plan in place for NYCFC to finally have a home of their own, team CEO Brad Sims is turning his eye toward what their planned home in the Willets Point section of Queens could mean for the growth of the fan base.

The New York City-based MLS franchise had been stuck in a state of limbo in terms of its home pitch, sharing a field with the Yankees, and being at the mercy of the MLB schedule. While the completion of any soccer stadium in Queens is still several years away, Sims was emphatic about how it would change the fan experience for NYCFC supporters.

“It’s going to be a game-changer for us,” Sims told amNewYork. “There are so much more storytelling and control that you have around the fan experience. That’s one of the things that really sets soccer apart from every other sport.”

The NYCFC exec also highlighted the diverse nature of the borough and the soccer culture that permeates from nearby Flushing Meadow Corona Park. It also opens the door to attracting new fans from outside New York City.

Sims explained that while the five boroughs offer excellent fan support, the move to Queens also opens up the opportunity to fans from Long Island which the CEO acknowledges “has been a challenge for us.”
Willets Point had long been on Sims’ short list of locations for a stadium for NYCFC.

It had been a site that Sims was even eying as the club worked to acquire land in the Bronx as part of a failed attempt to build a stadium there.

“I remember saying ‘that’s the perfect spot.’ At that point, though we were really deep into a site in the Bronx,” he recalled.

NYCFC’s planned stadium won’t be completed until at least 2027 and there are still a number of hurdles to get through.

“We’re going to be going through the city’s ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process and for us, we believe it’ll be a 12 to 18-month process. Hopefully, we’ll get fully approved by the summer of 2024.” Sims explained. “It’s a very in-depth process with a lot of meaningful dialogue with community leaders, the community board committee board, and the local community board.”

The team’s plan has received plenty of support from Mayor Eric Adams office, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and Council Member Francisco Moya as well as Mets owner Steve Cohen, who he said had been “fantastic to work with” and had been “very involved.”

There is still plenty to be done before NYCFC plays host to a game in their own stadium. And while there will be questions surrounding taxes and additional costs, with the 2026 FIFA World Cup coming to New York, it’s an even greater opportunity for the soccer fanbase to connect more with the team that’s looking to be the face of the MLS. 

For more NYCFC news, turn to AMNY.com