Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New York Yankees team up with Manchester City to form new MLS franchise

Two of the world’s richest sports franchises have decided to join forces. It was announced on May 21 that Major League Baseball club the New York Yankees are going to partner up with English Premier League soccer club Manchester City to form a brand new Major League Soccer (MLS) team that will become the 20th franchise in the North American league. The new club hopes to be in action in the 2015 season.

The New York City Football Club will have Manchester City as the majority partner. The English team is owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, who is one of the richest men in the world. The Yankees will reportedly be a very active member of the team’s ownership group. Don Garber, the commissioner of MLS, said this is a huge day for his soccer league and for America and he can’t wait for the new team to get started. New York already has an MLS club named the New York Red Bulls.

Garber said a lot of work has gone into forming a new expansion team and he can’t think of better owners than Manchester City and the Yankees. Reports said the new club cost approximately $100 million in franchise fees. While the Red Bulls are named after New York, they actually play their games in Harrison, New Jersey. The new club will play out of New York City where the market is about 19 million people.

Manchester City was crowned Premier League champions in 2011/12 and also won the FA Cup in 2011. They have the know-how when it comes to running a top soccer club and the Yankees will be able to help out in all other areas including marketing and advertising. Manchester City said the Yankees are an ideal partner and they hope to be playing in New York City for many years to come.

It was reported about a year ago that Manchester City was interested in an expansion team in New York, but the Yankees only climbed on board a short time ago. The Yankees said the organization is excited about the new franchise and the Steinbrenner family, who own the famous baseball club, are all big soccer fans. The Yankees added that they couldn’t turn down a chance to work hand in hand with one of the best soccer clubs in the world in Manchester City.

The New York franchise will play at a temporary home stadium in 2015 while a brand new venue will be built to house the team. A new ground could be built in Queens at the site of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but other locations will now be discussed. The MLS could also expand further as recently-retired David Beckham is talking with the league about the possibility of forming another new club in the near future. Beckham has a deal in place with the league which would see him form a team, but the agreement stated that he wouldn’t be allowed to locate an expansion team in New York City.

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