When Jorge Mas said this was going to be a team for the entire city and the entire the community, he certainly meant it. The Miami Herald’s Douglas Hanks reported earlier this morning that the Mas brothers met with Miami-Dade mayor and the parks & recreations top brass regarding a training facility as a county owned park. Did your mind immediately jump to Tropical Park? Guess again.
The county park in focus is actually Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah.
“We want to have a dozen fields. We want to attract soccer here, and have major tournaments, National and international tournaments,” Mas told the Herald. “There are no [soccer] fields in Miami. You have a field here, a field there, but no facility.”
When you take a look at the big picture in Miami soccer, Jorge Mas is absolutely right. The Magic City doesn’t have soccer-specific facilities with the exception of Kendall Soccer Park and several privately owned facilities that cater to small-sided games. Amelia Earhart is already home to one of these privately owned small-sided facilities.
Critics and opponents of the MLS franchise will be quick to point out how business has been conducted so far, with lack of transparency and the Overtown debacle. While the specifics of the training facility or its funding were not released to the media, Carlos Gimenez’ staff reportedly received guarantees that there would be programs run at the site for all children who wish to participate.
With the prospective of the MLS stadium being built on the property of Melreese Golf Course, the proposed training facility would be just 7.5 miles to the north. Hard Rock Stadium, which has long been rumored as being the front-runner to hold Inter Miami matches in the interim, is also approximately 7.5 miles from the park. It does not take an architect to put the pieces together to see why the Hialeah location is being swooned over.