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Manchester City And Yankees Launch New MLS Team

posted 21 May 2013, 10:38 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 May 2013, 10:39 ]

The New York Yankees and the Manchester City Football Club announce a deal to create the New York City Football Club.

 NEW YORKNEW YORKUNITED STATES (MAY 21, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Manchester City and the New York Yankees have formed a new Major League Soccer team to play in New York City from 2015, the organizations said on Tuesday (May 21).

English Premier League club Manchester City, owned by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, will be the majority partner in New York City Football Club with the Yankees, the biggest name in baseball, an "active member of the ownership group".

"Today is another big day in the history of Major League Soccer," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a videotaped statement.

"We've always had a plan for a second team in New York, a belief that a rival for theNew York Red Bulls would allow Major League Soccer to break through the enormous clutter of almost a dozen pro sports teams in this market," he added.

The 'franchise fee' for the new club is around $100 million (USD).

The new club will face a local rival in the New York Red Bulls who play in Harrison,New Jersey and are owned by Austrian energy drink firm Red Bull.

Manchester City, who won the Premier League in the 2011/12 season, hope that the Yankees will allow them to tap into expertise in reaching sports fans in New York.

"We are so pleased to form a relationship with Manchester City, last's year'sPremier League Champion and FA Cup Champion and our newest partner theNew York Yankees, a 27 time world champion for the sport of baseball. It's a great partnership," said Garber.

While City have been working on the details of an MLS franchise for nine months, Yankees president Randy Levine said his organization only joined the process "very, very recently".

The new team will play at a temporary home in 2015 while efforts to find and build a new stadium are completed.

MLS has already begun discussions with the City of New York about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens but other options will also now be investigated.

As well as the Red Bulls in New Jersey, the other professional team in the New York area is the re-formed New York Cosmos who will join the second tier North American Soccer League later this year.

Retired former England midfielder David Beckham, who played for Los Angeles Galaxy, is in talks with MLS regarding an option he has to create a new MLS team but his deal with the league explicitly ruled out New York City as a possible location for such an 'expansion franchise'.