PEPA sues to stop NYCFC from practicing at Manhattanville
A Purchase civic group is suing to stop a professional soccer team from building a practice field at Manhattanville College.
The Purchase Environmental Protective Association said it has filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the town of Harrison’s Planning Board, the college and New York City Football Club, an expansion club set to join Major League Soccer in 2015.
The soccer team, called NYCFC for short, received approval from the Planning Board on April 22 to renovate the college’s gym and rebuild its soccer field. NYCFC, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees and English Premier League soccer team Manchester City, has a five-year lease with Manhattanville to use the grounds for practice. The club said it would gift the facilities to the college after the lease runs out .
The civic group opposed the deal over issues such as traffic and concerns the team would continue to practice at Manhattanville past the end of the lease. In the late 1990s, a professional-grade hockey rink at the campus at which the New York Rangers would have practiced was successfully blocked due to community opposition. The college’s hockey team was left without on-campus facilities as a result.
NYCFC will play its inaugural season in 2015 at Yankee Stadium, but the team continues to have difficulty finding a permanent home in the five boroughs. The team is now reportedly considering locations in Westchester. Soccer’s New York Red Bulls play their home games in Harrison, N.J.