Location, location, location. It's the cornerstone of business. And it could be the center of discussion of any possible MLS expansion club in Miami.
Joseph Goodman, a writer for the Miami Herald, is pretty bullish about the prospects of the reported David Beckham-led expansion news in South Beach in his latest feature on the paper's website, which is very much worth a read for MLS expansion enthusiasts.
One of Goodman's points of emphasis, if you will, is the possible location of a stadium. In Goodman's opinion, a soccer stadium anywhere but South Beach would end similarly to previous soccer attempts in South Florida.
"Getting it right is getting a stadium in South Beach," Goodman writes. "A place where young people with disposable incomes live and work and practically shut down the island during the World Cup, a place where people could walk to games and a relatively small soccer stadium would have a neighborhood feel, a place where soccer would be fun and exciting and sexy."
So many of the recent success stories in MLS — Seattle, Portland and Kansas City, to name a few — have that same "neighborhood feel," the sense of community, the belief that their team is something much more than a money-making venture for a gazillionaire owner who lives half a country away.
"Fans in Miami drive to see winners. Fans in Miami drive to see stars," Goodman goes on to say. "You know where fans don’t drive? They don’t drive to that easily accessible stadium out by the horse track [the Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium] where good American football used to be played … unless, of course, it’s for an international soccer friendly."
South Florida obviously loves soccer. It seems you don't have to go far to help them love Beckham's MLS club.
South Floridians, you know the lay of the land and the mindset of those in your city better than anyone. Would MLS work anywhere in the city but South Beach? And more importantly, would MLS thrive with a stadium in South Beach?