Miami is finally officially getting a Major League Soccer team and we’re feeling like Cardi B at the Grammy’s.
It’s been more than a minute since this whole saga started in 2013, and more than once, it looked like it might all fall apart. But. This. Is. Happening.
So what happened today?
In what Sports Illustrated called the “loudest, longest and flashiest rubber-stamp in MLS history” and like “a pep rally staged at a nightclub,” soccer star David Beckham officially announced that Miami would be getting a Major League Soccer team.
The Southern Legion, the future team’s most diehard local fans, marched from the American Airlines Arena to the Arsht Center, where the announcement happened. They serenaded Beckham with a version of “Guantanamera.” Because Miami.
Hold up. We didn’t already have soccer?
We used to have an MLS team, called Miami Fusion, but it shut down in 2001. We also have Miami FC – it’s part of the North American Soccer League, which is just a step below MLS. Miami FC is pretty dang good.
So what’s next?
There are a lot of key things still up in the air, such as:
- The team name
- The team colors
- The team logo
The Beckham group says all that will be announced in the next couple months.
Also TBD is where the team will play. Beckham made it pretty clear that he sees Overtown as the definite location of the stadium, which will be built entirely with private money. The Beckham group already has six acres of land in the neighborhood. But for some folks, the idea of a massive sports stadium being plopped in the middle of one of Miami’s most historic and marginalized neighborhoods is ringing alarm bells.
However, there’s a legal challenge to the site that hasn’t been resolved yet, and local partners of the Beckham group, Jorge and Jose Mas, are apparently still talking about other potential sites, so maybe the Overtown spot’s not totally in the bag yet.
Okay, so when do we finally get futbol?
The team will start playing in 2020 at some TBD site while the stadium is built. It’s expected to start playing at its own stadium in 2021.
Following the new official Twitter account, @futbolmiamimls, and the fan account, @southern_legion, are good ways to stay on top of all the latest developments. Marcelo Claure, who is part owner of the team, is also very active on Twitter.