The return of a Miami MLS franchise is on it’s way; a press conference will be held Wednesday morning featuring the like of commissioner Don Garber and David Beckham to make a “significant announcement impacting the Miami community.” It’s been a rolling story building steam throughout the last three-ish months that Beckham plans to plant a club on South Beach, and it seems the next chapter will begin soon.
But hold on a minute. This is not official news yet. This is news of imminent news. There is no official confirmation that Miami will be MLS team #22. (But honestly, what else could it be?) Just wait for at least a meager 24-hour span before Miami life gets better than it already is. (I’ve never been to Miami, I’ve just heard good things about it, like a warm climate, good food, and the Miami Marli.. ahh, I mean the Heat.)
According to New York Times writers Ken Belson and Andrew Das, the press conference will only consist of the announcement that there will be a team in Miami. It seems a stadium plan has not been completed.
You see, one of Garber’s requirements to get into MLS is a stadium plan for the future, which oddly enough wasn’t the case with the New York City FC, who still have yet to announce their stadium plans (although that is supposed to be resolved in the coming weeks). Orlando City, moving from the NASL to MLS, are working on a new stadium right now that will hopefully be completed around the beginning/middle of the 2015 MLS season.
We could sit and speculate the location of the new stadium, but what is known is that much of the remaining struggle for green-lighting the 25,000 seater will be mostly political. The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos A. Giminez, doesn’t like the idea of using public money on a privately operated stadiums. Giminez isn’t opposed to a soccer team in Miami, he just wants to make sure the deal is done right for everyone involved.
Stadium or not, there won’t be any MLS Miami FC anytime before the 2016 season at the earliest. There are still loose ends that need to be tied up, players to purchase, potential stadiums to build, team colors to choose, jerseys to design, hype to build, and other team creation stuff. An announcement will be the first step in seeing it all happen. It will be confirmation yet again that MLS is growing in size, geography, and power.