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FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2012, file photo, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber addresses the Montreal Board of Trade in Montreal. MLS hopes to announce plans in four to six weeks for a stadium in Queens for a 20th team, Garber told the Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday, APril 25, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)
Yanks, Man City to own NYC MLS team
First Published May 21 2013 08:59 am • Last Updated May 21 2013 11:54 pm

New York • The New York Yankees are going into the soccer business.

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The Yankees are partnering with Manchester City to own Major League Soccer’s 20th team, which will be called New York City Football Club and plans to start play in the 2015 season.

Manchester City, owned by Sheik Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, will be the majority owner of the new team. Yankees President Randy Levine will be the lead person responsible for launching it.

"They’ll be running all the soccer. We know our way around New York, how to get things done," Levine said Tuesday.

The expansion fee for the new team is $100 million. It will compete for attention and dollars with 10 other professional big league teams in the New York market.

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MLS has been negotiating with New York City to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, near the home of the New York Mets.

"Flushing is still the preferred site," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said.

However, community groups have opposed using city parkland for a stadium. Manchester City Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano said other sites will be considered.

"We need a community that supports us. We need a family that’s going to embrace us," he said. "So we’re going to continue this discussion. But the first thing we want to do is to listen, listen to the community, listen to everybody."

NYC FC will start play at an interim venue. New Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, hosted its first two soccer matches last summer and is the site of an exhibition Saturday between Manchester City and Chelsea. The original Yankee Stadium was the home of the North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos in 1976.

"Yankee Stadium is an option, as are many places," Levine said.

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