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Front Page » Top Stories » Major League Soccer site scores

Major League Soccer site scores

Written by on February 19, 2015
Major League Soccer site scores

A push to build a Major League Soccer stadium beside the Marlins baseball stadium has sailed past county officials, but a plan to create a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) encompassing the stadiums wasn’t well-received.

The county’s Economic Prosperity Committee voted last week for the county to negotiate for an MLS stadium to rise next to Marlins Park in Little Havana. That’s headed for a commission vote.

David Beckham, British former soccer star, owns rights to an MLS franchise in South Florida.

It’s “another invitation and another good message sent to Mr. Beckham that Miami-Dade County is ready for soccer, and we welcome his money and his investment,” said Commissioner Rebeca Sosa.

The deferred CRA item called for a study of whether the agency could fund land acquisition for a dual-purpose stadium for both MLS and University of Miami football, as well as fund extension of Metromover to the sports complex.

CRAs use tax-increment financing (TIF), pumping future property tax yields into their area.

Committee members questioned whether CRA funds could be used for transit, and some said the CRA might be a form of government subsidy for the stadium.

“Even though we wouldn’t be using county money directly, in essence by deferring tax revenues through the TIF that would be created, the county would still be subsidizing Major League Soccer through the formation of the CRA,” said Daniella Levine Cava, who sits on the committee.

Bruno Barreiro, who brought forward both items, said that’s not the case and that the CRA would be a financing mechanism to extend Metromover westward.

Commissioner Barreiro added that he’ll work on the legislation and look into a special assessment district to finance the transit expansion.

8 Responses to Major League Soccer site scores

  1. DC Copeland

    February 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Commissioner Barreiro moves to the top for “Commissioners with Vision.” Actually, he seems to be the only one in that category. Thankfully, Barreiro can see the need to connect Sports Park with MetroRail via MetroMover if it is to be successful. Hopefully he also has the visionary chops to find a legal way of funding the park and the MetroMover connection.

  2. marc

    February 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Having Metro Mover line from Government Center over to Marlins Park via Flagler and on to Civic Center via 12th ave. would be outstanding. You’d get the people from the south getting there via GC and from CC from the north.

  3. Diane in OP

    February 21, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    The Strikers are back in Fort Lauderdale because they were a bust in Miami. So, what’s changed that makes anyone think a different team will work now? I believe the Hispanic community is used to watching a much higher level of play than any new American team could afford. That’s why the Strikers couldn’t garner the support needed to sustain them there.

  4. Capitalista

    February 21, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Man, do I miss former Commissioner Lynda Bell!

  5. M

    February 22, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    This is a pipe dream. Has anyone even done the calculations about how much the Metromover expansion will cost? And Commissioner Levine Cava is absolutely right – TIF is a form of indirect public financing.

  6. soccerfan

    February 23, 2015 at 12:33 am

    MLS has tried and failed in Miami. The league nearly folded in 2002 and has been resurgent on the basis of soccer specific stadiums (20-30k seating) and downtown stadiums. The league has been adamant that Beckham must secure a downtown site before they will move forward.

  7. marc

    February 23, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Major League Soccer had reportedly lost an estimated $250 million during its first five years.[9][10] The league’s poor financial condition forced MLS to stop the bleeding. During the winter break between the 2000 and 2001 seasons, reports began circulating that MLS was considering trimming the league from 12 teams back to 10 teams.[11] Rumors began circulating that the league might pull the plug on the Fusion, even though the Fusion had a low-cost stadium lease, and an improved performance in 2001 with increased fan attendance.[12]

    MLS announced in January 2002 that it had decided to contract the two Florida franchises, the Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny.[13] Both teams were withdrawn from the league, ceased operations and folded. Major League Soccer’s contraction reduced the league from 12 to 10 teams.

    The league had chosen to fold the Miami Fusion, in part because the Fusion’s ownership reportedly lacked financial resources, had been trying to run the Fusion on a bare-minimum budget, and had asked the League to pay some of the club’s expenses.[11] Commissioner Garber stated that the Fusion had the lowest revenue in the league, due to fewer season tickets and almost no revenue from corporate sponsorships.[14]

    Miami ownership had reportedly experienced $15 million in operating losses since Miami joined the league.[15] The Fusion’s owner, Ken Horowitz, described several difficulties with operating an MLS soccer franchise in South Florida.[14] Many Miami residents are not originally from the area and don’t necessarily identify with and support the local sports teams. Additionally, the MLS season is in the summer, which is different from the youth soccer season, making it difficult to draw youth soccer teams to attend Fusion matches, and which issues with the local summertime heat and rain. Finally, Horowitz identified a lack of corporate support for the team.

  8. Annophrie reis

    March 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Beckham is not interested in the people of Miami, he only wants to make more and more money, and this time tax payers will fill his coffers. Be mad to let this man get his way.