Another kind of football is coming to New York
by Anthony Stasi
May 01, 2014 | 1316 views | 0 0 comments | 123 123 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The New York Football (soccer) Club making its debut in Major League Soccer in the Bronx is going to be a big deal for New York City. What is more, the temporary home of the team is Yankee Stadium. Most importantly is the word “temporary.”

There are some concerns with the new team playing their games in the crown jewel of baseball, namely the notion that the pitcher’s mound has to be removed, stored, and brought back after these games.

The first complaint from a Yankee pitcher that the mound, which will be fork-lifted off the field and then brought back, is not holding the dirt properly and there will be issues.

The NYFC may be calling Yankee Stadium home after making all kinds of arrangements with the Yankees, but there is an opportunity for policy makers to push for this team to eventually relocate to either Brooklyn or Queens.

Or maybe the NYFC will stay in the Bronx, which would actually be a nice fit with the soccer-loving population up there, but that is not a definite for now.

Soccer is emerging professionally, and the outer-boroughs are perfectly suited to absorb the diverse fan-base of professional soccer.

Right now is the time for local politicians to start thinking about where this team is ultimately going to land. It is not often that a new professional sports franchise makes its debut in New York City, but this could be the start of something good.

People will say that professional soccer does not resonate with Americans. There is just too little scoring. But this is a different city from the days when the New York Cosmos were trying to make a go of it. The NYFC means jobs for people and even the better if those jobs are in Queens or Brooklyn.

Newark’s Mayoral Race

The race for mayor of Newark was never a big deal outside of Newark, New Jersey.

The city had the same mayor in Sharpe James for eons. But since Corey Booker was elected and became a national figure, the job has a new spotlight.

Councilman Ras Baraka and attorney Shavar Jeffries are squaring off on what is really a local position with some national attention. Despite Booker’s popularity, Newark still needs a lot of attention.

Baraka is strongly supported by the Working Families Party, which may allow him to run to the left of Jeffries in a city that leans that way. One poll has Baraka far ahead of Jeffries, but that was sponsored by one of the parties, so it could be considered a “push poll.”

Residents in Newark know that their city has not enjoyed the renaissance that Jersey City has in recent years. Can either of these candidates push Newark in that direction? There is no bonafide free market campaign to emerge so far.

Newark needs the type of leadership that Bret Schundler brought to Jersey City decades ago. The election is this May and hopefully Newark is on the verge of something. The city already has the New Jersey Devils and an independent minor league baseball team. Now it needs to build up its middle class with other economic efforts.

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