NY City FC 2015

2015 - New York City FC Team Formation

MLS had an interest in placing a second team in the New York area as early as 2006, when the MetroStars’ exclusive territorial rights reverted to the league as a condition of the club’s sale to Red Bull GmbH. By the following year, the league had held talks with several groups, including New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and his family, about owning the second New York franchise. The Wilpons’ interest in MLS reportedly faded following the family’s losses in the Madoff investment scandal, but the league continued to look for investors.

In 2010, MLS commissioner Don Garber officially announced the league’s intent to make its 20th franchise a second team in the New York area. At that point, the league hoped to have the new team beginning operations by 2013. Garber also held discussions with the owners of the rebooted New York Cosmos, but they balked at the league’s expansion fee and single-entity structure and decided not to apply for the entry, instead of joining the second-tier North American Soccer League.

Garber had previously cultivated an interest in acquiring investment from a major European soccer club to be owners of a future franchise, and in December 2008, he announced a bid for a Miami expansion team led by FC Barcelona. The team was to begin to to play in 2010 if accepted, however, the bid eventually fell through. Garber also briefly discussed Barcelona investing in a New York franchise, before moving the focus to Miami.

In 2012, Ferran Soriano, Barcelona’s vice president at the time of the Miami bid, was appointed Manchester City CEO, prompting Garber to reach out to him about a New York City team. In December 2012, unnamed sources told the media that Manchester City was close to being announced as the new owners of the 20th team of MLS, and the brand name “New York City Football Club” was trademarked, although the club quickly denied the report. However, Garber announced in March 2013 that he was almost ready to unveil the new expansion team.

Manchester City, in association with the New York Yankees baseball team, paid the $100 million expansion fee to join the league. New York City Football Club, LLC was also registered with the New York State Department on May 7, 2013, and on May 21, the team was officially announced as the 20th Major League Soccer franchise.