Yankees playoff run could force NYCFC to host playoffs at Citi Field
New York City FC has finalized contingency plans for the MLS Cup playoffs, securing dates at Citi Field if there is a conflict with the New York Yankees.
Those plans don't include a scenario if NYCFC reaches the MLS Cup final.
By securing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, NYCFC will have a first-round bye, meaning it will not host a playoff game until Oct. 23, when the MLS playoffs will reach the conference semifinal stage.
If the Yankees are eliminated prior to the American League Championship Series or if they are eliminated in the ALCS after five games or less, then NYCFC will play the Eastern Conference semifinal at Yankee Stadium.
If the Yankees reach the ALCS and it goes at least six games, or if they reach the World Series, then NYCFC will play its Eastern Conference semi at Citi Field.
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said: "We're extremely proud of the team's achievement this season and finishing top of the Eastern Conference will provide us with a great platform as we enter our fourth consecutive playoff campaign. Should Yankee Stadium be unavailable, we feel extremely comfortable playing our games at Citi Field which has proven to be an excellent alternative venue for the Club."
If NYCFC reaches the Eastern Conference final, then it will play that match at Yankee Stadium unless the Yankees reach the World Series. In that case, the Cityzens would play the conference final at Citi Field.
NYCFC's plans for a hosting a potential MLS Cup final are more complicated. The MLS Cup final is slated for Nov. 10, the day after Yankee Stadium hosts a college football game between Dartmouth and Princeton.
According to The Athletic, Citi Field is currently scheduled to host a "Stadiumlinks" golf event that weekend, though there remains the possibility that the event could be relocated, allowing NYCFC to host MLS Cup.
NYCFC played at Citi Field for the final 2017 regular season game against Columbus Crew and drew 2-2.
Reyna added: "We played a pivotal Decision Day game there in 2017 with our fans providing the same electric atmosphere we're used to at Yankee Stadium and know they will do the same come playoff time."