The commissioner explained that the league has stepped in to take the lead in finding a suitable stadium location within NYC.It's hardly a secret that Major League Soccer wants its next expansion team in New York City.
In fact, MLS is so laser-focused on a second NYC team, that it is taking unprecedented steps to make sure the vision comes to fruition.
"The league is taking the lead on developing the stadium opportunity," MLS commissioner Don Garber said Thursday during a teleconference with reporters.
"It’s the first time we've ever done that as part of the expansion process. There have been nine teams over last 10 years to build stadiums, but this is the first one where the league is driving most the important aspects."
Montreal will begin play this season as the league's 19th team, and MLS is keen to add a second team in the New York City area as the 20th, fostering a local rivalry with the New York Red Bulls.
Whereas the Red Bulls play their games in nearby Harrison, NJ, Garber wants to make sure team 20 would be within New York City.
"We have looked at 19 different sites over the last 18 months," Garber said. "We have been all over the metropolitan area. We are narrowing it down and are getting focused in a handful of locations.
"We are focused on locations that have really strong public transportation access and are close to the urban core as possible."
There is no ownership group in place for the proposed franchise, but Garber said that the league's focus is currently on finding a suitable stadium location and once that is achieved, there will be no shortage of groups willing to pay the $100 million fee to enter the league.
"We made the decision to get focused on getting the stadium done and when the stadium is done there will be no shortage of owners who are going to line up and want to pay $100 million for our 20th team in New York," Garber said.
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