From our friends at TiqIQ:
New York City is the largest market in the country. In sports that’s meant more than one franchise per major sport. But instead of a double dipping in allegiance and an increased chance of a championship for the region each season, the city divides support…even if it’s never been done evenly. And, as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. That’s led to plenty of intercity rivalries in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB. Now you can add MLS to the mix.
Major League Soccer is a growing sport in the United States, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Soccer has long been an afterthought to the majority of sports fan in the US, and many of those that have paid attention choose to focus on leagues overseas. But that doesn’t mean MLS has remained stagnant. Since it’s inception in 1996 the league has grown from 10 teams to 19. Up until now the lone New York team was the New York Red Bulls, and like the New York Giants and Jets they’re New York only in title, playing their games in New Jersey instead.
Starting in 2015 New York City Football Club will be added to the league as the 20th team, playing their games in Yankee Stadium for their first season. Jointly owned by the Yankees and Manchester City owners, there are already plans to build a new stadium for the club adjacent to Yankee Stadium. The point is, this team will actually play its home games in the city.
Until the new stadium is built, those home games will be played at Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium
has already been host to several international matches in the past few years, including Manchester City against Chelsea and Spain vs Ireland last year. On July 30
, Man City will play Liverpool at the stadium as part of exhibition tournament for European clubs in the US. The Man City-Liverpool matchup will be the fifth soccer game held at Yankee Stadium since 2012. While plans for a new soccer stadium are in progress, the friendlies and NYCFC game will have to schedule their games around the Yankees schedule with two to three days needed to change the field over from a baseball diamond to a soccer pitch. After the July 30
match, the Yankees won’t play at home until August 4
So with the birth of the latest New York City rivalry and another coming to Yankee Stadium, this one will have an interesting wrinkle. While the New York Red Bulls have been part of the league since the start – though as the MetroStars through the 2005 season – they are far from a longstanding tradition like the Giants, Yankees, Knicks and Rangers were before rival franchises entered the league. With the team actually located in the city confines, former Red Bull supporters may jump ship. With the prime venue of Yankee Stadium for home games, it wouldn’t be a surprise if NYCFC tickets become some of the most coveted in the league on the secondary market.
NYCFC, following suit of the Yankees, has already made some big name additions to the roster mainly David Villa, who played for Spain’s national team in the World Cup, and the rumored signings of Frank Lampard, who played for England and recently Chelsea in the English Premier League while there have also been reports a deal with Spanish midfielder Xavi is imminent.