With Orlando City SC being awarded Major League Soccer‘s 21st franchise, eyes now turn solely to David Beckham and the city of Miami. Since 2002, the MLS has been without a Florida franchise, which included a Miami franchise.
However 11 years later, the MLS has changed and developed in various arenas. Moreover, about 65 percent of Miami-Dade County’s population are hispanic, and could explain why the current Miami sports — especially the Miami Marlins and the Miami Dolphins — aren’t doing so well drawing in the fans.
I understand why some camps are hesitant to have an MLS expansion team being awarded to Miami, but it looks like it will happen. On Tuesday, Don Garber backed Beckham’s dream of bringing a MLS team to Miami. Moreover, MLS and Beckham have a deal that he can get a new franchise at $25 million compared to NYCFC‘s $100 million investment. For those wondering, it has not come out yet what Orlando paid, and Beckham’s discount is set to expire at the end of 2013. However, that could be extended by the league, if an agreement is not reached by the deadline.
However, it looks like having Beckham in the ownership core and possibly teaming up with fan-favorite LeBron James as an investor could help bring soccer back to Miami. Heat fans pack the arena, yet they like to leave early. Hopefully, this does not carry over to a possible Miami team. Additionally, for those looking at the past bankrupted team in Miami and saying why try again, well MLS as a league has changed very much since 2002. For starters, their fan base is bigger and financially looking strong.
In the end, it is still up in the air whether or not a new Miami franchise could succeed, but don’t be quick to write them off. A new MLS rivalry with Orlando SC couldn’t hurt their chances of drawing fans. Before we quickly say Miami will fail again, consider all the factors and actually give them a chance.
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