The New York Cosmos were very busy today, as they announced a new sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines in a special press conference in New York City.
Brazilian legend and Honorary President, Pele, announced the deal as reporters gathered to hear about the future plans for the NASL franchise.
“This is a big day for the future of the New York Cosmos,” Pelé said. “It’s wonderful to be part of such a pre-eminent soccer family.”
While club Chairman Seamus O’Brien addressed the media and was bullish on the future of the Cosmos. “When we do get to the top again – and trust me, we will – we will stay there long past my lifetime.”
But perhaps most intriguing was O’Brien’s comments when asked about MLS. The Chairman revealed that he is in constant dialogue with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and that New York City could handle having three professional soccer teams.
So that is pretty good news for MLS fans, as previously it was thought the Cosmos and MLS had not been in talks about any potential linkup.
But can NYC really handle three MLS teams?
Let’s take London as an example. The metropolitan population is 15 million, New York’s is 18.8 million. London has 13 professional soccer teams, who are all well supported with over nine teams getting crowds of 20,000 plus on average. So New York can surely handle three teams?
Obviously well all know about the other sports in the US and NYC that affect attendance figures for MLS teams, so unfortunately it won’t work like that.
In London soccer is the main sport, there isn’t much else. So probably not the greatest measuring stick. But the lure of the Cosmos would certainly attract around 20,000 fans every game once they have a permanent soccer-specific home and if — a big “if” — they are an MLS club.
Three MLS teams in NYC is feasible. It would be absolutely wonderful to see it happen.
Hopefully those wheels seem to be in motion with O’Brien and Garber in constant contact. But it could be quite some time before that happens.