By Paul Kennedy
New York City Football Club, which will begin play in MLS in 2015, will announce the hiring of former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernettias its chief business officer, reported Bloomberg, based on information provided by a person with direct knowledge of the hiring.
Pernetti, 42, was considered one of college sports' top young athletics directors, but he resigned in the wake of the scandal involving Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who was seen in a videos physically and verbally attacking players at practices while using gay slurs. Pernetti suspended Rice after seeing parts of the video, though in his resignation letter he said his first instinct was to fire him immediately. Following the fallout from ESPN's airing of the video, Rice was fired, and Pernetti quit.
NYCFC, owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees, is expected to begin play at Yankee Stadium, but it must still find a permanent home. MLS had identified a site in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, but NYCFC is reportedly considering other sites as well, including a parking garage on East 153rd Street in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium.
CASTRO SUPPORTS SAN ANTONIO MLS BID.Support from San Antonio mayor Julian Castro "matures the process" of seeking an MLS expansion team in San Antonio, Gordon Hartman, of the San Antonio Scorpions, told the San Antonio Express-News.
Castro said he was convinced San Antonio should be a front-runner for an MLS franchise.
“I'm very impressed with what Gordon has accomplished with the Scorpions in terms of the stadium and fan enthusiasm," Castro told the San Antonio Express-News. "I believe he and I are both confident ... that there is strong demand here for MLS soccer.”
San Antonio would be considered a strong expansion candidate. It has the size (it now ranks as the seventh-largest U.S. city), growing fan support (the Scorpions lead the NASL in attendance) and a new soccer stadium (8,000-seat Toyota Field). Toyota Field would need to be expanded -- there is room to expand to about 18,500 seats and 32 suites -- and Hartman, a former real estate developer, would have to commit to the MLS effort.
Hartman got behind the Scorpions as part of Soccer for a Cause, his effort to help promote support for children with special needs. He opened the Morgan’s Wonderland amusement park, designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs, in 2010. He has repeatedly said he want to slowly grow the Scorpions, who are struggling through a horrible second NASL on the field.
DYNAMO GETS VISA. The Houston Dynamo and Visa reached a long-term sponsorship agreement that will make Visa a founding partner of BBVA Compass Stadium and the official payment services partner of the Dynamo and BBVA Compass Stadium. As part of the partnership, fans who purchase a Dynamo jersey with name customization with their Visa card from the adidas Dynamo team store inside BBVA Compass Stadium will receive a $25 Visa gift card.
HAPPY SQUEEZE JOINS U.S. YOUTH SOCCER. U.S. Youth Soccer has signed a sponsorship deal with Happy Family that will highlight its line of Happy Squeeze pouches. Happy Squeeze will be the official On-the-go “Superfood” of U.S. Youth Soccer. Samples of Happy Squeeze snacks will be available at U.S. Youth Soccer's National Championship Series and Workshop at the NSCAA Convention.
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