“We say as owners it’s our team. It’s not our team. It’s the people in this city’s team.” -David Beckham
By Omar Figueroa & Keith Fletcher
As MLS and David Beckham’s Group of billionaire owners set their sights on one of the biggest franchise inaugurations in MLS history. Miami is ready for the beautiful game to join South Florida. Miami’s sport franchises have had paramount of moments which brought Miami and South Beach a new sense of excitement in the past. Remember, Lebron James announcing “I will be bringing my talents to South Beach”. Miami cheered for future multi-year championships before the NBA season even began. Soccer coming to Miami is like Lebron James bringing his talents to South Beach because the City of Miami has a special bond, passion, and love for soccer.
If you travel on an evening after school or weekend throughout any of South Florida’s soccer parks, you will see a mixture of coaches speaking Spanish to white youth soccer players. Also, you will find soccer parents who identify as Latino and provide the gift of soccer to their sons and daughters. Miami is unique because of its high Latino population influence. According to US Census Bureau Miami has 70% Latino population. Miami’s diverse population is the future of what soccer will look like in America as the Latino population will continue to grow in the United States. A majority Latino population in Miami positioned with the MLS and David Beckham’s Group of owners will provide a soccer identity to the Latino population who has soccer written into their DNA. The following are 5 reasons why Miami is the idea soccer market in the Americas.
Miami’s Latino Population
Majority of Miami Latinos who grew up in the United States to Central or South American parents, find a bond to soccer. The main sport of choice in Central and South America is soccer (futbol) and when you have one of the largest populations of Latinos in America you will get support.
Miami is the Gateway and Metropolitan City
Yes, there is a large Latino population, but Miami is a city not only to a large Latino population. South Florida also has a decent size of residents from the Caribbean Islands, all soccer fanatics, as well. Then, there is the Europeans and Canadians who are transplants, tourists, or part-time residents. So, whether you speak Italian, French, Haitian Creole, or Jamaican English, they all speak and understand the language of soccer.
Miami’s Rich Youth Soccer System
According to FIFA the United States has 3.9 Million registered players and 113,777 players are from South Florida. 30% of youth soccer players are registered in South Florida when Miami is not even one of the 10 largest cities in the United States. Why does this matter? Because within the last 3 years the world’s best soccer clubs have setup Soccer Academies in South Florida from the likes of Boca Juniors, PSG, F.C. Barcelona, Inter de Milan, and Juventus.
Miami’s Love with Glamour
Professional athletes love South Beach before Lebron James stating it on national television. Attracting elite professional soccer players to Miami to be a part of a desired MLS club will automictically attract elite soccer talent. Plus, you have to consider David Beckham is a celebrity who knows how to gather attention for events and MLS Miami will be no different.
Miami’s Affection with Watching Soccer
For the 2018 Russia World Cup, Spanish speaking coverage in South Florida has had the largest viewership in the United States. South Florida was given a 6.2 Nielsen rating which is double of the following markets in order Los Angeles, Houston, and New York. The US Men’s National Team is not even participating in the World Cup and the viewership is being maintained with no professional MLS club in the city and no US National Team. Miami loves to watch soccer!
Miami’s Beautiful Weather
Miami has perfect soccer weather all 365 days of the year. Miami is unique because during the winter when the majority of the country is battling the snow majority of Miami’s soccer fanatics are watching soccer games at their favorite bars around the city. Miami has the ideal soccer climate for friendlies, season play, tournaments, and pick-ups.
In conclusion, Miami welcomes our newest professional team, MLS Miami (named to be announced July 12), with open arms and a bear hug. It will be a win-win-win for the team, the community, and the surrounding cities. Outside of the Super Bowl, Miami will be the sports tourism destination. Thank you, David Beckham et al.
Futbol vs. football (American)……keep watching because in the years to come futbol will dominate football in viewer audiences and spectator sports in the United States. I am worried the new stadium may not be built large enough. Adios football, bienvenido futbol.