On Monday, in advance of Fútbol Miami MLS appearing in front of the City of Miami’s commission for the second time in a week on Wednesday, co-owner Jorge Mas and Mayor Francis Suarez were grilled by the Miami Herald’s editorial board for an hour, facing a series of questions about the proposed development at Melreese Country Club.
For some people at the City of Miami’s commission chambers Wednesday, it was nearly an 18-hour day. For supporters and opponents of Fútbol Miami MLS’ ballot initiative, they came and had their say. However, at nearly 11 p.m., the city’s commissioners voted to delay discussion on the proposed stadium and park for nearly a week.
Fútbol Miami MLS co-owner David Beckham arrives to Regatta Park in Coconut Grove and speaks to supporters before the team argues in front of the City of Miami commission on July 12, 2018.
There is a wide misconception that has grown through the years here in South Florida. It has been the gold standard to every stadium project when it’s time to discuss financing and acquisition. Those familiar with sports here in the Magic City know that I am already talking about Joe Robbie Stadium, now known as Hard Rock Stadium. South Florida idolizes Robbie for building it with his own money, however, lost in the story is the land acquisition deal.
As part of its push to build support before a Thursday vote for its proposed “Miami Freedom Park,” Fútbol Miami MLS is hosting a watch party for the England and Croatia FIFA World Cup Semifinal at The Wharf in Downtown Miami featuring co-owner and soccer legend David Beckham.
As is to be expected, there has been a lot of discussion about Miami Freedom Park, where Fútbol Miami MLS intends to build its stadium (with the approval of City of Miami voters in November). However, co-owner Jorge Mas has revealed a lot of other news related to the actual sport of soccer in the course of his interviews this weekend. And it appears a lot of pieces related to the team will be falling into place in weeks, rather than months or years.
Mas spoke to Will Manso of Local 10 WPLG on Sunday, and revealed a number of juicy tidbits:
- First, the colors, shield and uniform could be released as early as the end of this month.
- Second, the club has interviewed candidates for general manager and coach, and the GM position is expected to be filled by the end of next month.
- Third, the team name will be released after colors, and it will not be Miami Freedom, as had been speculated in May. That name will be reserved for the development at Melreese. Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald reported last month that the two favored finalists appear to be Futbol Club Internacional de Miami (Inter Miami) and Futbol Club Atletico Miami (Atletico Miami).
- Finally, and most critically, Mas reiterated the plan to kick off in March 2020, even though the proposed stadium won’t be ready until 2021. That means the team will start in a temporary venue. Mas mentioned that there’s interest in “the other two large facilities in Dade County that can house our team,” referring to Hard Rock Stadium and Riccardo Silva Stadium.
Mas indicated the ownership group had an idea of the style it would like to play, and hopes to model Atlanta United as a club to develop players for the future.
Listen to Matt and Omar discuss the “Miami Freedom Park” plan on Magic City Soccer Episode 57!
It’s hard to imagine a time where Fútbol Miami MLS might be “done” with the preparation stage. For years, Miami fans eagerly awaiting a Major League Soccer team to support have awaited a finish line. However, developments over the last week may indicate that Thursday’s meeting with the City of Miami’s commissioners may signal the beginning of the end (or, at least, the end of the beginning).
Han pasado ya cuatro años desde que David Beckham anunció su intención de fichar un nuevo equipo de la MLS en Miami, opción que se le había otorgado en 2007 cuando llegó a la liga estadounidense.
Desde entonces han salido rumores, falsos comienzos, consideraciones de varios sitios para un nuevo estadio y, hasta ahora, poca información sólida. Esto es lo que sabemos.
In a tweet Tuesday night, Fútbol Miami MLS owner Jorge Mas intimated that an announcement on a site for the team’s new stadium would be coming “soon.” However, in a reply to Univision anchor Sandra Peebles, he provided what appeared to be some more details.
Hola mi amiga… el día 12 revelamos… te va a encantar… hablemos unos días antes… un fuerte abrazo
— Jorge Mas (@Jorge__Mas) June 27, 2018
Mas tweeted that on the 12th (presumably July 12), there would be more information revealed.
Earlier tonight, Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald reported that Mas would be meeting with Miami-Dade Commissioners next week to discuss plans, including the possibility of a stadium at Melreese.
When Jorge Mas said that we would hear news about the Miami MLS project soon, we were all hoping for it to be in the coming weeks after the announcement. We’re close to being four months away from the date that MLS declared Miami was officially getting a franchise and we’re starting to get some early clues as to how the franchise will honor the Magic City. While it’s nothing from the horse’s mouth, the connections are too big to ignore. Miami Freedom appears to be in the lead position.