NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a turf war brewing at Yankee Stadium, because a new team in town is moving in on the Yankees’ territory.

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco explained, the view from Chopper 2 shows the perfectly manicured baseball field at Yankee Stadium torn up as workers turn it into a soccer field for Sunday’s inaugural game of the New York City Football Club.

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Some people are not too happy.

“They’re gonna mess the whole field up man, they’re gonna mess a lot of things up,” Mike Stephens said.

The NYCFC is set to play 17 games at Yankee Stadium with 2 to 3 days for the grounds crew to transition between a soccer field and a baseball field. The field has only ever been converted for a soccer game five times at the new stadium.

Yankees players have voiced their concerns in published reports about their new housemates. Mark Teixiera said, “It sucks,” and “It’s terrible for a field.” Fellow first baseman Garrett Jones said, “It does chew up the grass a little bit.’

Kenny Leandry, manager of communications and media relations for Yankees Stadium events, told CBS2 the Yankees are confident the field would be fine for both teams.

“We are very confident that the playing field will be perfectly suitable for both New York City FC matches and Yankees baseball at Yankee Stadium,” Leandry said in the statement. “We would not have taken part in this if we did not think it could work in a very good way. That is a testament to our grounds crew, who we would like to think is the best in the world.”

Scott Bills with the New Jersey Sports Field Managers Association said weather will be a big factor in how smoothly the transition goes.

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“If they thought they were going to ruin the field they wouldn’t do it, but they’ve got the resources to put it back,” Bills said.

He added that the Yankees grounds crew has a tough job ahead of them.

“It’s a lot of manual labor. You can’t drive big equipment out on a Major League Baseball field. It’s small carts and wagons and a lot of hand work with men and shovels on their hands and knees laying sod,” Bills said.

Soccer fans say it will all be worth it.

“Baseball and football teams do it all the time. That Raiders do it with the A’s,” one fan said.

The New York City Football Club will face off against the New England Revolution on Sunday. The Yankees don’t start playing for nearly a month, their home opener is on April 6.

 

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