In the ultimate odd-couple alliance, Hal Steinbrenner has joined forces with controversial multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to bring an expansion MLS team to New York. MLS commissioner Don Garber announced on Tuesday that the Yankees and Sheikh Mansour's Manchester City will create a partnership and acquire a club for $100 million that will begin play in 2015 in a yet-unspecified temporary home until a permanent, soccer-specific stadium is built. Speculation is that Yankee Stadium might provide a home for some matches. The new owners are still hopeful they can push through a stadium approval for the site at Flushing Meadows, despite political opposition. Manchester City will be the majority owner, the Yankees a primary investor. Interestingly, they may need to negotiate with the Mets for parking lot space if the new stadium in Queens is to become a reality. Some local residents are opposed to the construction project in Corona Park, and political groups oppose the purchase by Sheikh Mansour on the grounds that his ruling family in Abu Dhabi has imposed repressive policies toward gays and other residents. Sheikh Mansour is considered the richest man in soccer, but he would be severely limited in purchasing star players for his new side due to the league's salary cap. "This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country," Garber said. "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." The new club, New York City Football Club (FC), will be the 20th team in the league.
Yankees partnering with Manchester City on new MLS team
New York Daily News | May 21