MLS commissioner eyes possible New York franchise for 2013
MLS commissioner Don Garber said Friday that the league has no intentions of slowing down following a 2012 expansion to Montreal, and that a second New York franchise could be in line for 2013.
Garber told the Associated Press that the league has aspirations of soon fielding a 20th franchise to follow Montreal, which was officially announced on Friday as the league’s third Canadian club and 19th franchise overall.
"Our attention is very focused on a 20th team as we speak. We'd like that team to be in New York City representing a second team in the tri-state area," Garber told the AP. "The Red Bulls are very supportive of that and believe that rivalry will help grow the popularity of the sport in the New York metropolitan area. So we're going to work hard and try to get something done perhaps as early as 2013."
A second New York-area franchise has long been a rumored expansion possibility for the league, along with St. Louis, Atlanta and Miami. Portland and Vancouver will join the league in 2011.
The New York Red Bulls moved into their sparkling, $200 million Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., in March, giving the market arguably the premier soccer-specific facility in the nation.
Garber added that he has spoken in the past with the Wilpons, the ownership family in charge of the New York Mets, but that other options existed as well.
"Our discussions, which were fairly active with the Mets, clearly got put aside with the energy that they were putting into the launch of Citi Field," Garber said. "We haven't had discussions with the Wilpons in over a year and we'll hopefully reopen those discussions.
"But there are certainly many, many other potential ownership opportunities in that market. With the economy turning around, we hope to be able to start some discussions with potential other investors."