New York, NY (Sports Network) - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday that Manchester City and the New York Yankees have combined efforts to acquire the League's 20th expansion club.
The new team will be named New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and expects to begin play in 2015.
"We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer," Garber said in a statement. "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 crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city."
Manchester City will be the majority owner of NYCFC while the Yankees will serve as an active member of the ownership group. Both entities have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization.
"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, managing general partner of the New York Yankees. "We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York - and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy. Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, will be the point person in leading the effort to launch and establish the team on behalf of the organization."
The announcement comes in the build-up to a friendly match featuring Manchester City and Chelsea, which is to be played at Yankee Stadium on May 25.
"New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base," said Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City. "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."