Jobu plops down a couple of pennies on this Yankees/Manchester City/NYCFC deal.
In case you hadn’t heard, the Yankees have partnered with Manchester City of the English Premiere League to found a brand new Major League Soccer franchise called the New York City Football Club (NYCFC for short?). Some might question the decision to add another sports team to an already crowded New York market, but I don’t. It’s New York City. People will go. I once owned a New York/New Jersey Hitmen hat, for crying out loud. I really should search my parents’ house for that thing. It’s gotta be there, my XFL football is still in the garage! Um.. Ahem… I digress… Let’s gear up for Fútbol in New York City!
So, just to review the economics of it all, the Yankees will actually only own 25% of this team, while Sheik Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (yes, that’s one guy), who owns Manchester City, will take on the other 75%. To me, this seems like an good deal for both teams. Being minority owners, the Yankees won’t have to deal with much of the every day nuances of owning a club. They’ll just collect 25% of the money. What Manchester City gets is instant credibility in a market that might not be familiar with their EPL franchise, and I’m sure Yankees’ President Randy Levine will grease all the palms when it comes time to make a stadium deal.
Anyway, back to the fútbol of it all… Assuming it has a home to play in, the team will kickoff on-field operations during the 2015 season and will be the 20th franchise for the ever-growing MLS. That kind of makes the league more legitimate sounding, no? 20 is a nice round number of teams. The best part about NYCFC being in New York is that they have a built in rivalry with the New York Redbulls. I know the Redbulls play in New Jersey, but like the Giants and Jets before them, the shame of having New Jersey on their Jerseys was just too much for them to handle, so they dropped the Garden State from their name when they rebranded away from their initial Metrostars name (remember them? I have their jersey too!). Those territorial bragging rights type rivalries are always good, so that should lead to some fun match ups once NYCFC is up and running. Like I said before, this market is big enough to house multiple sports teams (every major sport has two teams), so don’t worry about over saturation.
It’s not all rosy so far for the franchise though. When you create a new team, they need a home to play in. Like I mentioned before, the goal is to house the new franchise somewhere in Queens. Naturally, everyone in the community is up in arms about possibly giving up even more public park land in favor of another gaudy stadium (Yankees Stadium, anyone?). This will definitely be a point of contention for the next couple of years. That’s where Randy Levine’s greasy palms and New York politics savvy will come in handy. Seriously. It might take a while, but he’ll get the stadium deal done wherever the Shiek wants it to go. That being said, if the debate lasts too long, there’s a very real possibility this team will end up being housed in Yankees Stadium for a while. I think that would be a neat thing to see, although the Stadium is empty enough when baseball is played nowadays. Without butts in the seats, it’s going to be hard to pay them light bills (too damn high!).
Overall, I’m pretty excited to be getting a very local professional fútbol team in the city. I know we have the Redbulls, and they play in a beautiful, and still relatively new, stadium, but who the hell wants to go to Jersey to watch them play? Not I, said the Fly. Wherever they play, I know that, at some point during that 2015 season, I’ll be in the stands with my NYFC Jersey on. I hope they sign a Uruguayan or two. Don’t worry, I’ll introduce them to you.
Featured image courtesy of: USA Today Sports
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