Expected Miami MLS Expansion Team Good For The League?

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, the MLS announced New York City FC and Orlando City SC as their 20th and 21st teams, respectively. The former ceased to exist up to that point and the ownership also owns Manchester City. On the other hand, Orlando has arguably one of the most passionate fanbases, and their fans drove the success of their expansion bid.

At Thursday’s 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the league’s commissioner, Don Garber, spent time talking about a variety of topics, including expansion. When asked about the state of Miami‘s expansion bid, he said a February announcement should be expected.

Putting aside whether or not Miami can draw the fans in and fill their yet to be built stadium, a question must be ask. Is adding Miami MLS franchise a good thing for the league?

Personally, I think it is. David Beckham is taking his ownership dreams by the horns and not taking no for an answer. In addition, it looks like the ownership team will include high-profile celebrities like Miami Heat‘s Lebron James. High-traffic names like Beckham and James drive ratings from television ratings and viewership. Even if they aren’t big fans of the product, or in this case the team on the field, fans will want to watch based on the famous ownership.

In addition, by having Beckham and James as part of the MLS ownership core, this is good for the league’s pursuit with a new television deal. The current deal with NBC and ESPN is set to expire after the 2014 season. By having not only a famous player, but someone who can bring in top-talent to the league, it will help drive the league’s new television to new heights.

Lastly, by adding Miami to the league, another rivalry game will be formed. Miami and Orlando matches will easily turn into much-watch matches like the Cascadia rivalry matches; rivalry matches are good for both the league and television viewership.

Beckham’s MLS playing days helped the league get to where it is today, and his ownership days should do the same as the MLS enters a new horizon in the new future. Bringing in top-talent will not only help the league, but also bring in fans, while expanding the MLS’ overall fanbase. The only thing unclear at this point is when the team will potentially enter the league, but my guess is on 2016 with NYCFC and Orlando entering in 2015.

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  • Raheem Farhan Bashir

    I do not think so. Miami does not really support its ice hockey and baseball teams very well. And the only reason why they support their NBA team is because they are winning NBA Championships. I think a team in the capital city of Canada: Ottawa, Ontario would work well for the MLS.

    • Doan6701

      Very true Raheem, plus I think it’s quite obvious that David Beckham is another Bart Starr/Wayne Gretzky/Michael Jordan waiting in the wings. Great player, bad coach or owner.

      • Phil Naegely

        Miami has a high hispanic population. I know many Miamians who are wishing for a MLS team. Personally, I think having Beckham and James as owners is good for MLS as they negotiate a new TV deal this year.

        Raheem- MLS will not be expanding in Canada anytime soon, sorry. They are trying to expand to South East USA right now. Also Minnesota Twins/Vikings are reportedly battling for a MLS franchise.

        • Doan6701

          Then explain the Miami Fusion’s failure if you can.

          David Beckham=Jeffrey Loria

          Deal with it!

          Heck, I’d trust Jeffrey Loria over a loose cannon like LeBron James anyday of the week! In fact, LeBron is basically another Tim Leiweke waiting to happen! Remember when Leiweke became a Maple Leaf executive? One of his first interviews was going out and blasting his former team’s (the Kings) market, Los Angeles with these quotes:

          “We didn’t have that in LA, and we won the Stanley Cup, we finally saw it at the end. It took us getting to the Finals in order to awaken that town. It’s not a hockey town. So I came here and I’m like oh my goodness look at this. This happened in day one. This happened the first day of playoffs. You had more built up passion in that hockey team and that organization on an away playoff game than we ever did including winning the Stanley Cup Game 6 home ice at STAPLES Center. So it just shows you the potential.”

          If let’s say, the Portland Trail Blazers (a winning team right now mind you) dumped a truckload of billions of dollars on LeBron’s doorstep, not just would LeBron bolt Miami, but he would also blast the city calling it an “inferior” basketball town while kissing Portland’s butt six ways to Sunday.

          Bottom line: If you think LeBron is gonna make Fusion 2.0 (or whatever they call themselves) into a winner, then I got some swampland to sell you!