Inter Miami is supposed to start play in 2020. While MLS has been successful in fake-it-til-you-make-it creation of clubs (see: NYCFC, Austin FC), Miami is proving troubling. Sure, Inter Miami has a crest and something resembling a front office. What they don't have is a place to play. Aspirations are nice, but they don't build you a stadium.
One way around this problem is for Beckham et al to broaden their search. So far, they have only looked at Miami, Florida. I suggest they widen the net. There are many other Miamis and, by and large, they all have more favorable land acquisition potential. Let's dive in.
This is a great option for the club. Yager Stadium (cap. 24,286) is already there. MLS can have a three-way Ohio derby... an Eastern Conference Cascadia, if you will. It's a college town, which we know MLS likes. Now, I hear you... "oh it's already too close to Cincinnati." Yes, well it's also not far from Indianapolis. Whole new MLS market if we get creative.
This one poses the initial issue of being pronounced Mi-a-MUH, so that could be an issue. That said, it's right off the Will Rogers Turnpike, has the very last Ku-Ku burger joint from Route 66 of yore and (you guessed it) has Northeast Oklahoma A&M's Red Robertson Field ready to go. You might question if this is a viable MLS market. On my one-and-only trip through here (it's not an exciting story), I totally streamed a live Sounders match. So there is some market penetration.
OK, so it's remote. But Freeport-McMorRan is a shoo-in for jersey sponsor, so we're already on the right track. Stadium is harder, but the potential! Views of the Tonto National Forest and surrounding mountains would be striking. It gives MLS a foothold in Arizona and, vitally, gets the team playing.
This is probably the toughest market, though I'm not going to write off the town's 597 residents. Plus, Amarillo is closer to Miami, TX than Olympia is to the CLink (at least during normal rush hour traffic). With Austin FC starting up, we're looking at a four-club derby situation that really captures the bulk of Texas.
Rotate Inter Miami among them all! Each city gets roughly four home matches and it really becomes "America's Team." Or at least the team of the towns in America called Miami.
It's a bold plan, but I see no reason for MLS to spin its wheels while Miami, Florida figures out a place where this team that already has everything you need for a team other than a pitch can play.
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