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Report: Sheikh Mansour in talks to launch NYCFC
by Paul Kennedy, April 29th, 2013 5:11PM

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TAGS:  mls, philadelphia union, soccer business


By Paul Kennedy and Ridge Mahoney

The target date for an announcement on MLS's 20th team is on or around May 25 -- the date of the Manchester City-Chelsea friendly at Yankee Stadium.

That is significant because the New York Times reported Sunday that Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family whose private investment group Abu Dhabi United Group owns Manchester City, is in talks to buy the new MLS team, according to Times' sources.

The expansion fee would be $100 million and the tentative name for the team is New York City FC. (MLS recently registered the domain name nycfc.com.)

Both MLS Commissioner Don Garber and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last weekend they hoped to have an announcement on a team soon.

The stadium project, which must get the approval of the City Council and State Legislature, calls for a privately financed $340 million stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The political hurdles center around building parkland to replace the parkland on which the stadium will be built.

UNION PONDERS STADIUM EXPANSION. Philadelphia Union owners met last week to discuss plans to expand PPL Park, which opened in 2010.

The stadium's current capacity is 18,500, but it is designed to expand to accommodate as many as 30,000 seats.

“We need another restaurant and more club seating,” Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz told the Philadelphia Business Journal, “and we could probably add 10 more suites.”

Any expansion would start late next year, he added.
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4 comments
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 29, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.
    A NYC based team with proper planning would be a big boost for MLS.

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: April 29, 2013 at 6:51 p.m.
    The more money and bigger markets MLS has the better long term, I hope NYC FC helps increase the salary cap and more importantly forces a salary floor that is set reasonably! What MLS cannot afford is to be like Europe where well more than half the teams are not competitive. Owners like Kraft and Vegera who are cheap poison the well and arrest development. When all MLS teams are at 15 -20 mill spread across the entire team, not just a two or three player taking up 75 % of payroll MLS will take the CCL regularly and stands will be full everywhere which will lead to more eyeballs on TV and on line

  1. Donna Clark
    commented on: April 30, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
    Since all MLS teams are owned by one group of investors, how can NYC FC, the 20th expansion team, be bought by Abu Dhabi? Is promotion/relegation on its way to America? I hope so. This needs to happen. If so, will the NASL be the division below the MLS with the USL below the NASL and the PDL below the USL, or how will the leagues be structured? Exciting!

  1. feliks fuksman
    commented on: May 2, 2013 at 8:56 p.m.
    Looking forward to a NYC team!!


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