NYCFC, the New York-based MLS team that plays most of its home games at Yankee Stadium, last night released the latest round of renderings for its new stadium in Queens, which is currently slated to open in 2027. As you can see above, the renderings use the very inspiring moniker “Sponsor Stadium” for the facility. Go on, say it out loud, preferably with a deep rumble of majesty, for it is surely a name fit for champions, a name whose grandeur and majesty shall ring throughout the heavens. Whose house? Our house!
The name also appears in these renderings:
But wait, it gets better — it turns out that “Sponsor Stadium” is just the nickname! If you zoom in on that last image, you can see the more formal, complete name:
Now that sounds right proper!
This “Sponsor Stadium” placeholder name replaces the earlier “Stadium Name” placeholder, which appeared in a previous round of renderings last fall:
Even if you don’t hate
sponsored advertised stadium names as much as I do, these placeholders seem so stupid and clunky. Why not just use “NYCFC Stadium” until you whore out the naming rights?
Frankly, it would be pretty great if they just kept the placeholder name as the permanent name. But since they’re obviously not going to do that, let’s get ahead of the curve:
Available in navy and light blue. Wear it loud, wear it proud!
This might be the greatest venue name since TMQ’s “Not Bankrupt Yet Coliseum.”
Sellout field at naming rights sponsored stadium.
Haha that’s hilarious. Good stuff.
Is that soccer league THAT popular?
Define “THAT popular”. Popular enough for companies to shell out for naming rights, like Subaru Park just outside Philadelphia? Yep. Popular enough that 25,000 people from New York City can find their way there a couple times a month for a game in a stadium like that? Yep.
Not sure what you’re going for, but yeah, MLS is that popular. There are 30 teams and growing. A quick Google search will back all of that up.
Club value does not equal popularity, of course, but I saw something interesting the other day. Of the 50 most valuable soccer clubs in the world, 18 are MLS teams.
As of last year, MLS is one of only 11 global leagues in all sports to have over 10 million people attend (~10.2 M) and is the 16th highest attended global league in all sports per match (~21K/match), and has achieved these milestones in only 26 seasons.
Yup. Higher game attendance than the NBA & NHL. Approaching MLB. Not MLS specifically but if you combine fans of MLS, European leagues (esp Premier League), Liga MX and even occasionally Brazilian and Argentine leagues, I’d say soccer collectively has surpassed ice hockey as the United States 4th major sport and it’s gaining on baseball.
Especially with younger people, taking my son to elementary school, I never see hockey merch, sadly I rarely see baseball merch, but see at least 1 or 2 soccer jerseys every day. Only NFL seems more popular. It’s all NFL, NBA & soccer with the under 30 crowd.
I’ve followed the Premier League since the early 00s when I lived in London and I tried in the early 2010s to get into MLS but I personally don’t care for it. Going to games can be fun, and to their credit they’ve tried to blend elements of North American & European sports structure & culture but for me it just doesn’t work.
Thank you for making the soccer people angry. It’s sooooo easy. And fun to read.
I think it’s a two way street. By and large most people don’t follow the NHL either. But you don’t see die hard NFL fans getting *angry* when they meet someone who likes hockey. Soccer is the only sport in America that seems to actually make some non-fans angry that fans of it do exist (and in growing numbers). Honestly that boils down to xenophobia and I see that in other nations with other sports too.
Point out to some English guys that the NFL is pretty popular now in the UK and you’ll get freak outs like “No it’s not, Brits don’t care about American hand-egg blah blah blah” So the American guy mad at soccer has their mirror image in the UK at least.
Fun fact, soccer (and cricket’s) lack of popularity in the U.S. has it’s roots in 19th centry Anglophobia. Cricket used to be the most popular sport with the early American upper class and football initially gained a foothold with the working class just as it was growing in England.
In the wake of the War of 1812, Americans got super Anglophobic and were really insistent that the common language was where our cultural similarities would end. Even though baseball and American football have their roots in English, since they weren’t as popular there, they grew and evolved as safe, All-American alternatives to English sport.
“Point out to some English guys that the NFL is pretty popular now in the UK and you’ll get freak outs like “No it’s not, Brits don’t care about American hand-egg blah blah blah” So the American guy mad at soccer has their mirror image in the UK at least.”
As a Brit, I can’t say I’ve ever come across this. From my experience, people here tend to fall into 3 broad categories – people who have no idea the NFL exists, those who are aware of it but don’t care and actual NFL fans (who tend to be rather rabid in their fandom).
I’ve met a lot of Brits that have an irrational hatred for baseball and basketball, but not gridiron football.
This is great. That they actually have the full “Name rights sponsor stadium” in smaller letters on there makes it perfect. Corporate greed is now the default setting for pro sports.
It did actually get me thinking about if sponsor is appropriate for a stadium, as compared to a jersey ad. The teams make plenty of money to fund operations, so unlike rec leagues, they don’t need a sponsor on the jersey to help fund operational costs (like uniforms). But, new stadiums are ridiculously expensive, is it fair to use the term sponsor for a new stadium, since the fee helps fund the cost of construction? Or am I just out of touch with how insanely wealthy all team owners are and their ability to finance billion dollar new stadiums without something like naming rights deals?
Good news on this $780 million facility is that there is no public funds marked for the building, it’s all private funds by the team, with some tax breaks for building the facility though.
Also it has affordable housing into the plans which is reported as being the largest public housing project in New York since the 1970’s.
Also the land is being retained by the city and the team has a 49 year lease and the rent to the city is $4 million per year.
Not an expert but this seems way better than what is happening upstate with the Bills. Bills stadium is reported to cost $1.4 billion with taxpayers covering $850 million.
I’m an economist when I’m not hanging out here. There has never been an instance I’ve heard of when public funding of a stadium has led to local economic benefits greater than the subsidy. Pubic subsidy of sports venues is always and everywhere a bad deal for everyone (but the stadium owner, of course).
Yes, I have never seen one report indicating real evidence the city/state ever makes a return on their stadium investment. Football stadiums seem to be the biggest culprits as they tend to be the most expensive and hold the least number of events getting people into the area to drive economic activity.
I suppose you could make a case for some sort of civic / cultural pride associated with local pro sports teams, and the benefit of that for city, but I don’t know how you quantify that economically to justify spending public funds on a stadium. This seems especially true in really big markets where franchises would be foolish to abandon the revenue of said market by leaving for a vacant smaller market.
I’m sure you realize soccer jerseys worldwide feature sponsor names/logos.
Pro-soccer jerseys the world over feature advertising, not sponsors.
Not sure what you are getting at here.
My point was the term sponsor indicates someone paying to help fund an organization. The ads on uniforms don’t fund the organizations, they are already making loads of revenue via ticket sales, merchandising, and broadcast deals. The ads are simply an additional source of revenue not needed to fund (sponsor) teams owned by billionaires played by millionaires.
I was pondering if however it is correct to consider a stadium naming ad a sponsorship because of the absurd cost of these new stadiums and said “sponsor” revenue actually being needed to fund it. Or if the ownership groups have plenty of capital to finance said stadiums on their own?
I think the sentiment is that these sponsored stadiums are damaging the purity of the game as we grew up with it (or as our parents/grandparents grew up with it) but let’s face it, stadium names have been advertisements for a long time. Ebbets Field and Shibe Park were advertisements FOR THE OWNERS THEMSELVES. Look how great, rich, influential I am, was the message of these parks. Not sure that’s any better than what we’re stuck with today. I’ve said it before but if you’re looking for some measure of purity in American sports, you’ve got a pocket in the 60s’ and ’70s where the stadiums were municipally owned and where there was no advertising on the outfield walls and the stadiums were named for their proximity to the water or blandly honoring “veterans,” or some crap like that. But everybody hates those stadiums because they had Astroturf and were cookie-cutter. Moral of the story — nobody’s happy with anything. Ever.
This is thought-provoking.
You missed Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium and Fenway Park in that. They aren’t examples of non-advertised names, they have simply been used long enough to be excused.
Just needed to sneak in a tour bus in the renderings but instead of large ads on its side could have had “post no bills” and “not for hire”.
“SPONSOR STADIUM” is about one step away from “SPACE FOR RENT”
Where are all the fans that drive to Citi Field going to park?????
They’ll just take the subway or LIRR
under the overpasses as always. curbs and potholes be damned.
I’d never seen a pitcher’s hat come off during a pitch before.
If you look closely at this graphic (link), you can *almost* see the candelas…
I was thinking the same thing!
There are several possible off-color jokes to be found in the list of benefits of that oil, but I’m not going to be the one to go digging for them.
So this anonymous shoebox stadium (really no discerning or thrilling details at all) will be next to Citi Field? I know there is not a lot of space left in New York City, but this looks really crammed.
Caitlin is awesome!
Sponsor Stadium, home of the Fighting BroughtToYouBys.
Came here to say we need a “Still Calling It…” t-shirt but glad to see you’re way ahead of me.
It’s because they know it’s gonna be named Ethiad, but probably aren’t allowed to use that in the renderings. It ain’t that deep.
Hurry hard indeed.
If this team can build a stadium in Queens why wouldn’t the Giants build and play in NYC instead of New Jersey?
That’s a great idea. Up till now they’ve only been asking the Jets to return and look how well that’s gone. Time to court the more successful NFL franchise
I’m calling it “Advertiser Stadium.”
As a kid playing Statis-Pro baseball with my friends my team played in Taxpayer Stadium :)
Are they building this stadium in that dystopian auto repair area?
That very cool, very photogenic, municipally-neglected auto repair area. I went through there two very memorable days to take photos of all the awesome colorful signs and shops. The people working there were super-friendly and some invited us to take their pictures. Nothing that replaces that area will be as cool.
How about “This Name Will Change In Two Years When Some Other Company Offers Us A Bigger Bag” Stadium?
Or maybe “Taxpayers Got Stuck With The Bill For This Stadium But The Team Owner Will Pocket Profits From Naming Rights” Stadium?
Ready to order my “I’m Still Calling It The Iron Triangle” shirt.
Willets Point Park would be appropriate, incorporating some mid-century ‘car repair’ style neon into the park logo and signage.