Major League Soccer is one step closer to having its desired second franchise in New York as the league is close to securing a $300 million stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
The stadium, which would be completely financed by the league, is awaiting approval from city and state officials but so far both have been very supportive. If the legislation goes through, it is expected that construction could start in 2013.
“I definitely think this could happen in 2013 and it will generate construction jobs, permanent jobs and sales-tax revenues for the city and the state,’’ a state official told the Post.
“This would be a big boon to the state and the city, and, of course, it would be very exciting for the different ethnic groups in the city that love the sport of soccer. It would provide a great recreational opportunity."
MLS has made no secret of its desire to have its 20th franchise be a second team in New York. The league has received countless offers from cities across the United States and Canada but has remained focused on New York. Commissioner Don Garber explained to Goal.com why having a second team in the city would be important for the league.
"We're very focused on it," Garber told Goal.com. "We believe that having a second team here will allow the Red Bulls to really capitalize on some of the success that they've had in this market."
He added: "Having a rival here that we think will allow our league and our sport to capture the interest of soccer in this massive market. There's 13 million people here. There's no shortage of interest and a second team would really capitalize on that."
The decision for the league to finance the stadium is a bold move that will likely impact the selling price of New York's second club. It was thought that the league was looking for $100 million before it decided to build the stadium on its own. The previous ownership group of the New York Cosmos disbanded partially due to its inability to secure a stadium due to the city's expensive real estate. Under its new owners, the club has joined the NASL and remains interested in joining MLS.
It is speculated that the league will expect a higher franchise fee from potential buyers.
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