“That team just showed so much determination, so much fight, and we are going to celebrate this amazing team, we’re going to celebrate all they mean to New York City,” de Blasio said. “These champions really epitomized the best of New York City.”
During a morning virtual press briefing, de Blasio donned a black New York City FC hat and orange team scarf while announcing the celebration, slated for 12 p.m. at City Hall’s steps. The free tickets, which will be free and allocated on a first come first serve basis, are available online.
“It’s a credit to all my teammates for all the work they did,” the mayor gushed. “This city was knocked down, and just like NYCFC, we got back up.”
NYCFC defender James Sands, a Rye, New York native who joined the mayor’s online news conference, spoke about the “special feeling” of winning the championship so close to where he grew up.
“It’s such a special feeling for me being a local New Yorker, just to bring a trophy back to the city. … It’s such an amazing feeling. I was a fan of this team before I played on this team,” he said. “Together, we just represent all that’s great about New York — the hard work, the determination. It’s such a special feeling.”
After the Yankees’ elimination from the playoffs in October, de Blasio became the first mayor in more than a century who won’t celebrate a single championship by any of the major sports teams in baseball, basketball, football and hockey.
The Big Apple’s previous 14 mayors all saw at least one of the city’s NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL teams earn a title.