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Major League Baseball Planning New Manhattan Flagship Store

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Major League Baseball Planning New Manhattan Flagship Store
1271 Sixth Ave., formerly known as the Time-Life Building, in Midtown Manhattan

As the Yankees get set to return to New York for their American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, a subsidiary owned by the team is set to open Major League Baseball's first flagship store.

MLB has agreed to open a 17K SF retail outpost at 1271 Sixth Ave., Crain’s New York Business reports, three years after the league agreed to move its headquarters to the building.

Marketing and hospitality group Legends, co-owned by the Yankees and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, is partnering with the league on its first permanent retail space, overseeing design and construction. MLB's headquarters spans 400K SF on the upper floors of the building, which is owned by the Rockefeller Group.

“This new retail location in a busy area of Manhattan gives us another unique way to market our players and teams and help continue to grow the sport,” MLB Deputy Commissioner of Business and Media Tony Petitti said in a statement.

The store, which will sell merchandise for all 30 MLB teams, is opening at a particularly perilous time for retail in the city.

Stores are contracting their physical retail space, and vacancy is plaguing the city. Between 2007 and 2017 the amount of vacant retail space went from around 5.6M SF to over 11.8M SF, according to a recent report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer's office. Everything from restaurants to flagship stores are feeling the pain.

Stores that offer some kind of experience, however, have been the standout performers in the retail landscape, but even some of them have struggled. The NFL opened an attraction in Times Square dubbed the NFL Experience, but closed it in 2018 after less than a year of operation.