New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York City FC, the first-year MLS franchise in the "City That Never Sleeps," might have a way to help awaken Columbia University football.
The new franchise is exploring Columbia's Baker Athletics Complex in northern Manhattan as its home, a plan that would replace 17,000-seat Lawrence A. Wien Stadium with a 25,000-seat stadium, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
NYCFC, which is playing home games in Yankee Stadium, would share the proposed $400 million stadium with Columbia football. The report also said the franchise would spend as much as $30 million to rehabilitate the surrounding fields at the complex.
"New York City FC is looking at sites all over New York City," Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for the soccer team, told the Times. "We are working with the de Blasio administration to find a world-class site for a soccer-specific stadium."
Columbia football could use a boost. The Lions have historically had one of the worst programs in Division I, and they will enter the 2015 season on a 21- game losing streak. They have finished with only two winning records since the start of the 1972 season.
Columbia took a big step this offseason, hiring Al Bagnoli as its new head coach. He finished a 23-year tenure at Penn last year, and his nine Ivy League titles are the most in league history and 112 wins in Ivy games are the second-most.