Manchester City & New York Yankees Announce New MLS Team

May 21, 2013

Manchester City and the New York Yankees have partnered to launch a new MLS club based in New York.

The new club will be named New York City Football Club. The new club has yet to secure a permanent stadium and has begun discussions to play in an interim home. MLS has begun discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders over constructing a new stadium in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Manchester City will be the club’s majority owner and the Yankees will be an active investor. 

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said: “We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer.

“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.”

Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City, added: “New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base.

“We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride.”

Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees, said: “We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city. 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.”

The natural expansion route

Sponsorship expert and director at brandRapport, Nigel Currie, said he was not surprised by the move and said it was the ‘natural expansion route for a successful Premier League club such as City who have ambitious and rich owners.’

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Currie added: “The potential for the American market is huge.

“Losing Beckham was a blow to MLS but stronger ties between franchises such as Man City and the New York Yankees will strengthen MLS and develop greater opportunities for players and coaches.  The tie up could be very effective.

“The American franchises have outstanding marketing expertise and will be able to take advantage of the Man City name and reputation to strengthen their position.”

Another aspect that caught Currie’s eye was the potential for a fierce rivalry between the new team and the New York Red Bulls.

Currie added: “Most importantly it creates another really strong intercity rivalry. These types of intercity rivalry have delivered for sports such as Baseball and American Football in the US and football in the UK some of the greatest sporting drama over the years.”

What do you think of the move? Is this the natural way for rich owners to continue to grow their clubs? Join the debate here 

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