MLS 20th Franchise - Partnership between Manchester City & NY Yankees

Published Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:58 AM by Shane Barrow
MLS 20th Franchise - Partnership between Manchester City & NY Yankees

Two of the largest global sports powers came together and announced the investment of $100 million to gain the 20th team in MLS.  It will be known as New York City Football Club (NYCFC).  The franchise will join MLS for the 2015 season.

Manchester City will be the new club's majority owners. It stands as a powerful indicator that in the ongoing football arms race, the thirst for unconventional revenue streams and creative brand exposure will compel major teams to execute ever bolder global strategies. 

The Yankees expect to be active participants in operations. As Yankees President Randy Levine explained, "They know how to run a soccer club, we know our way around New York it is a win-win." 

MLS commissioner Don Garber called the moment a "transformational one for soccer in America," claiming: "The fact that we have a Premier League champion and a 27-time World Series Champion will give the league the credibility around the world that the signing of David Beckham did." 

For MLS, the partnership with two global giants will broaden the league's global profile in its 18th year. Commissioner Don Garber was effusive. "This market has 19 million people in the region and is soccer hungry. With the Red Bulls here, we have the opportunity for a a derby that will break through the clutter of sports teams in this market and will work on the local, national and global levels." 

New York City FC expect to play in an interim home until a permanent stadium is built. The owners are committed to constructing a stadium and will take up negotiations with the city. Whether their focus now shifts from the 13-acre plot of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens remains to be seen. 

The announcement gives an immediate rival to the New York Red Bulls.  Hopefully it will be a bit more interesting than the so-called LA Galaxy-Chivas USA rivalry.  I suspect it will be much more passionate.