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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