Last Saturday was a historic day in Minnesota soccer. Over 34,000 people attended the Guinness International Champions Cup doubleheader between Olympiacos vs. Manchester City and MN United vs. Ottawa at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota has not seen soccer crowds this large since the days of the Minnesota Kicks.
Naturally, with a soccer event that featured both the Vikings and MN United, the conversation has turned to MLS. Here are some of the media highlights from the weekend:
Olympiacos beats Manchester City as Minnesota hopes for global soccer relevance.
Plans for Outdoor Soccer Stadium in Minneapolis Moving Forward.
Soccer match turnout puts MLS spotlight on Minnesota.
Yesterday MLS Commissioner Don Garber reiterated this week that “we will not expand to Miami unless we have a downtown site for the stadium.” That’s bad news for Miami considering there are plenty of markets that would love to be the next MLS expansion city. But is this just Garber putting pressure on Florida politicians to get a stadium approved? Or is the insistence on a downtown location, like Christopher Harris at worldsoccertalk.com says, an easy out for MLS?
The back story of MLS to Miami is a complicated one. The Sports Business Daily has a great write up of the summary of events that led up to the public announcement of Beckham creating a MLS franchise in Miami. Since then Team Beckham has had two different stadium locations rejected. While Broward County is trying to woo Beckham into building the stadium outside of downtown Miami, Garber’s comments seem pretty black and white on the issue. At this point you have to wonder if Beckham is moving on to plan C or possibly moving on? To complicate matters, the Mirror reported earlier this month that the Beckhams just bought a mansion in Miami. With Victoria still working in London the flight back and forth to Miami would be a lot closer than Las Vegas. Then again, there is a rumor that Beckham is working with the Sands Corporation to open a restaurant called Beckham’s Bistro in Las Vegas.
“Miami is our preferred choice and we are working hard to give the people of the city what they want and deserve,” a spokesman for the Beckham group told The Miami Herald in a statement, “however, we have always said that there are other cities that would welcome an MLS club owned by David and his partners.”
The Minnesota MLS situation almost seems simple compared to what is going on in Miami. And just in case anybody from Beckham’s camp is reading this, Minneapolis is over 700 miles closer to Miami than Las Vegas.