~~ Game. Changer.
This is the day that MLS has been waiting for and a curve ball was dropped during the announcement with Manchester City partnering up with the New York Yankees for the 20th franchise in Major League Soccer. This is going to force all the other ownership groups in the league to start paying MAJOR attention to the details and the direction of their clubs.
After three years of development and planning for a second team in New York, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced on Tuesday that English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City FC and Major League Baseball’s legendary New York Yankees have teamed up to bring it to fruition and acquire MLS’s 20th expansion club.
The new team will be named New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and is expected to begin play in 2015.
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” Garber said in a statement released by the league. “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.”
“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base,” said Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City. “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.”
Manchester City will be the majority owner, according to the league’s announcement, while the Yankees will play an active role in the ownership group, with Yankees President Randy Levine playing point for the ballclub.
The Yankees and Manchester City already have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization, and Man City will play a friendly against fellow EPL giants Chelsea FC at Yankee Stadium this coming Saturday.
“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,” said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees. ”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.”