The consortium hoping to deliver professional Rugby League to New York have been given Mayoral support to back their bid.
League Express has acquired an email sent by the Mayor’s office in Harrison, New York – which is where the Red Bull Arena, the stadium the team are hoping to play out of, is situated – declaring their support for the bid, which is yet to be decided upon by the RFL.
Addressed to Ricky Wilby, the man at the head of the bid, by Mayor James Fife, it says: “It gives me great pleasure as the Mayor of the Town of Harrison to land my support to the New York Rugby League Club as they endeavour to become the first USA-based Trans-Atlantic Rugby League franchise.
“I have no doubt that the fast-paced, exciting nature of the game will see fans from all over come to the Tri-State area to see our team compete.”
Yet while this is an undoubted boost to the bid’s chances of approval, it looks increasingly likely they will not be granted admission in time to compete in 2019.
When details of the bid first emerged last October, Wilby and his consortium declared they would have ideally liked a year before they began playing in order to ensure they were ready for their admission to the British game.
With no decision still not made – and the idea not discussed among clubs at all, League Express understands – it appears more and more likely New York will not begin play until 2020.
Meanwhile, one of the member’s of Wilby’s team is no longer involved in the bid, it is understood. Tom Scott and the New York consortium have parted company.