Manchester City Ownership Group Reportedly Eyes MLS Expansion

Will the storied New York Cosmos franchise make a resurrection in Major League Soccer?  Although a New York City-based expansion team is set to enter the MLS and be based near Flushing Meadows, it will not be called the Cosmos.  That iconic name is being revived in the newly reconstituted, but lower tier, North American Soccer League. Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan is reportedly the frontrunner to purchase the newest MLS franchise, which would create a natural rivalry with the New Jersey-based Red Bulls.  The New York Times reported that the sheik, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, has entered the final stages of acquiring an MLS franchise.  Franchise expansions fees are expected to fetch $100 million. Sheik Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group already owns the English Premier League's Manchester City Football Club, which it bought in 2008 for $385 million.  Prior to the purchase, Manchester City was in dire straits.  The ownership group quickly turned things around.  The club qualified for the Champions League and won the FA Cup in 2011, and a year later won its first Premier League title in ...
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NBA and NHL Get the Boot: MLS Is the 3rd Most Attended Sports League in America

In just 16 years, the world’s most popular sport has climbed to become America’s third highest spectator sport on average. While soccer's relevance has been questioned by critics for many years, recent figures indicate that Major League Soccer (MLS) now averages higher attendance numbers than both the NHL and NBA respectively.The MLS kicked off in 1996 as a result of a FIFA mandate requiring that a professional soccer league be launched in the United States if the country wanted to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.  The primary objective was to expand interest in the sport in North America.  It has taken almost two decades, but that long-term goal seems to have been achieved.The NFL leads with 67,358 during its 16-game regular season, and MLB averages 30,334 per game. Dating to the MLS all-star game, the soccer league is averaging 18,733 in attendance per game during the 2012 season, significantly higher than the record-setting 17,872 in 2011.  In comparison, the NHL averages 17,455 in attendance per game, while the NBA averages 17,273.  Additionally, Nielsen Media Research indicates that MLS telecasts are averaging a record high 345,000 viewers on average for each game shown on ESPN/ESPN2, and up 12 percent from ...
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