As reported in The Guardian, upcoming MLS newboys, New York City FC, have confirmed that their first home will be the Yankee Stadium; as part of a sharing agreement with the Major League Baseball outfit.
The New York soccer club, who have strong affiliations with Manchester City, will take part in the MLS from the 2015 season onwards and therefore it would have been impossible for a new stadium to be built in time.
Though this will not be a permanent arrangement, it is a pragmatic measure given that initial plans to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows received strong opposition.
One drawback of playing soccer in the Yankees stadium is that the field will be laid out for matches in a way that will mean the majority of fans will be seated a considerable distance from the pitch, thus making it difficult for the new franchise to build an atmosphere come game day.
Additionally, given the fervent fan base surrounding the New York Yankees, there will be strong opposition to any perceived deterioration of the pitch due to overuse.
However, the move will allow the Manchester City-Yankees endorsed franchise to host the first ever MLS game played in New York City itself.
Contrary to their name, the New York Red Bulls are based in New Jersey and therefore cannot challenge this assertion.
The fact that Manchester City’s Abu-Dhabi owners have chosen to invest so heavily in the MLS shows that soccer in the United States is a lucrative business, and will only continue its rise in the coming years.
Whilst David Beckham provided the catalyst to this growth when he moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, the MLS has proven that it can flourish without Beckham’s presence in one of its teams since the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star hung up his boots.
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