- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City FC will play homes games at Yankee Stadium during its first season in 2015.

Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said at a news conference Monday he anticipated the upper deck would be closed off, leaving capacity at 33,444, down from the ballpark’s baseball capacity of 49,642.

Trost said it will take three days to convert field from baseball to soccer, although in a rush it could be cut to 2½, and the same amount of time to switch it back. The pitcher’s mound will be removed each time with a clawlike structure, stored and replaced.

The soccer field, which runs from the first-base dugout to left field, will be 110 by 70 yards, slightly shorter and narrower than the preferred 115-by-74 yards. NYCFC is working on plans to build a permanent soccer-specific home in New York City and hasn’t given a timetable for how long it will play at Yankee Stadium.

Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera attended the news conference in his role as NYCFC’s first season-ticket holder.

NYCFC, co-owned by Manchester City and the Yankees, joins MLS next year along with Orlando as the league expands to 21 teams. Atlanta joins the league in 2017 and David Beckham has been given a Miami team that starts play at an unspecified date.

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