In another twist in the ongoing saga of Fútbol Miami MLS, partner Jorge Mas told the Miami Herald the group is now considering “five or so” locations for a new soccer stadium for Major League Soccer. This is a stark on-the-record departure from the ownership group’s position since late 2015.
Mas specifically details what the ownership is looking for in a site. And much of what Mas details conflicts with what the Overtown location can provide.
“Whatever site is chosen,” Mas told the Herald. In addition, he said it “has to be a job creator and has to have life — to be a technology hub.”
The other proposed sites include some familiar names (Melresse Country Club, a Pepsi distribution center in Doral) and two locations previously not considered publicly.
First, a parcel of land next to Jackson Memorial Hospital. At approximately 20 acres, it’s slightly double the size of the Overtown lot. It’s located near bus stops and the Santa Clara Metrorail Stop.
Second, and most surprisingly, the Herald reports the ownership group is considering a stadium on the land inside the grounds of Hialeah Park.
Hialeah Park is a historic and iconic location in South Florida. Made famous by horse racing and its infield flamingos (featured most prominently in the introduction of “Miami Vice), Hialeah Park has struggled to regain its foothold as an entertainment destination in Miami-Dade County. Hialeah Park is more than four times as large as the Overtown lot. The track has shifted away from thoroughbred racing in recent years, focusing more on quarter horse racing. A trade for professional soccer might be appetizing to Hialeah Park owners.
Hialeah Park is largest departure from plans among the known considered sites. For years, David Beckham’s group insisted that the stadium must be in Miami’s urban core. Hialeah (or Doral, for that matter) would be a total capitulation from that previous position. If it gets the ball rolling, most soccer fans in Miami-Dade County would happily accept. However, it begs the question: How much time was wasted pursuing a goal that was entirely unnecessary?