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City and Yankees to create New York MLS team

Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed the New York Yankees and Manchester City as co-owners of the league's 20th franchise.

21 May 2013 David Cushnan

Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed that the league's 20th franchise will be co-owned by the New York Yankees Major League Baseball (MLB) team and Premier League club Manchester City.

The new team will be called New York City Football Club and will likely begin playing in 2015.
News of a second New York MLS franchise, about which there has been speculation for some time, was confirmed by league commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday. Manchester City are currently in the US to play two end-of-season exhibition games.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported that the initial value of the deal was US$100 million, although that was unconfirmed. The initial statement, however, did reveal that City, Premier League champions in 2011/12, will be the majority owner with the Yankees playing an 'active' role in the ownership of the new club.

“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organisations to Major League Soccer,” said Garber, the head of a league sure to be boosted by the announcement.

“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 cross-town rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”

Fabian Soriano, chief executive of Manchester City, who finished a disappointing second in this season's Premier League, added: “New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fanbase.

“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.”

City and the Yankees have an existing business relationship through the Yankees-owned Legends Hospitality company, which provides services to the English club.

“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, a managing general partner of the New York Yankees.

An MLS statement on Tuesday confirmed that the new club will initially play at an as-yet unspecified interim venue but will ultimately be seeking a permanent home in New York. Much speculation has surrounded a possible site in Queen's, close to the home of the US Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows.

Picture shows the Yankees' Randy Levine (left) alongside MLS commissioner Don Garber (centre) and Manchester City's Fabian Soriano at Tuesday's announcement.

City/Yankees – MLS

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