Where New York's baseball gods closed a door, its soccer gods saw a window.
New York City FC will play its MLS Cup playoff opener within the five boroughs, moving Monday’s match against Inter Miami CF to Citi Field from Red Bull Arena following the Mets’ elimination in the National League Wild Card Series, according to official ticket listings.
The original Ticketmaster event page for Monday’s match at Red Bull Arena currently lists the match as canceled, while a new page for the same match at Citi Field now exists with tickets set to be made available at noon on Wednesday. The club has notified some ticket holders and club members, according to social media posts, but has yet to formally announce the change.
After Yankee Stadium — NYCFC’s primary venue — and Citi Field were deemed unavailable following postseason berths by the Yankees and Mets, plans were made to host City's playoff opener at Red Bull Arena last week. The club released a statement saying it preferred to play all playoff matches in the city’s baseball venues rather than its rival’s soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey, but had its hand forced by the league with no other MLS approved venues available in the area.
Circumstances changed Sunday when the Mets lost Game 3 of the Wild Card Series to the San Diego Padres, ending their season earlier and creating a vacancy in Flushing. Yankee Stadium remains unavailable with the Yankees beginning the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday.
With 55 regular season points, defending MLS Cup champions NYCFC earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and a chance to host No. 6 Inter Miami in the first round. A victory would pit NYCFC against the winner of Sunday’s match between No. 2 CF Montreal and No. 7 Orlando City SC. New York City would again be at home should they face Orlando City in the conference semifinals.
NYCFC was unbeaten in four matches at Citi Field this season, winning twice with two draws. The club was 1-2 (3 points) at Red Bull Arena and 7-1-2 (23 points) at Yankee Stadium. This will be NYCFC's second playoff match at Citi Field, the first being a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC in the 2019 conference semifinals.