WASHINGTON, May 21, 2013 — English Premier League giant Manchester City and the New York Yankees, will be the co-owners of Major League Soccer’s 20th team. The epansion team will be based in New York and be called be New York City FC. The team is expected to play in the 2015 season.
MLS commissioner Don Garber announced the blockbuster deal in New York City.
The expansion franchise is rumored to cost Manchester City and the Yankees $100 million. The new club will generate nearly $500 million in new investments for MLS. A new stadium, planned to be built in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, is estimated to cost $340 million. Other potential stadium sites are being considered and the club will play at an interim site, possibly Yankees Stadium, in its inaugural MLS season in 2015.
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” said Garber. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”
Currently the New York Red Bulls are the only team in the New York region and the club plays in Harrison, N.J.
Manchester City, owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, will be the majority owner, according to Garber. The two giant sports franchises already have a business relationship involving Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization.
The news that the Yankees were involved in obtaining an MLS franchise caught most people by surprise.
“We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York — and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy,” said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees.
MLS is now in its 18th season with 19 clubs.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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