Written by Miami Today on October 1, 2009
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FÚTBOL FANFARE: The Miami-Dade Sports Commission is preparing to ramp up its community relations work in advance of a US Soccer decision on which cities will be included in a bid to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022, says Mike Sophia, executive director. He said the effort will begin in the "next week or so," with the objective of getting people to rally behind the effort. The US is to apply to FIFA, soccer’s international governing board, by May 2010. FIFA is to select the 2018 and 2022 hosts in December 2010. Miami is vying to be one of about 15 destinations in the US bid.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK: Mr. Sophia said US Soccer made a quick site visit recently, touring the stadium and training sites, with nothing but positive feedback from the visit. LandShark Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins and for two more years the Florida Marlins, would host games if Miami were selected as a host city.
NATIONAL EFFORT: The USA World Cup Bid Committee wants a minimum of 50,000 electronic signatures on an online petition from each finalist city. That petition will be sent to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which is to make site visits and vote on which country should host the championships. The petition is open for about 75 days at www.gousabid.com.
STILL WAITING: Meanwhile, a planned sports merchandise marketing effort at Miami International Airport has not advanced even though county sports officials have declared support recently, Dade sports commission’s Mr. Sophia said. The initiative, which would see the airport, the sports commission and professional sports teams collaborate on marketing, has been in discussion for years and was included in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Sports Committee’s goals for 2009-10. Said Andy Montero, senior director of retail operations for the Miami Heat, in a previous article: "You travel to other airports [and they have merchandise]. I don’t see any [at MIA]. I see a lot of books, a lot of newspapers and a lot of food."
DEALS DEALS DEALS: Miami Attractions Month kicks off today (10/1). The promotion, administered by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, is designed to attract more visitors and entice residents to experience local attractions. The program runs through the month. Details: www.everyonesakid.com.