Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Friday, November 04, 2005
  The Traffic in Miami
My focus lately has been on the MLS playoff so it's good to find something else of interest.

Four years after MLS downsized their operation by laying off all their employees in Florida, Miami gets a new professional soccer team....and maybe two in the USL.

Yesterday, Traffic Sports USA announce they would be starting a USL Division 1 team in Miami next season. This is good news all around in my opinion.

If you think you've heard of Traffic Sports, you probably have. They were formerly known as Inter-Forever. They have worked with CONCACAF for several years marketing, promoting and running CONCACAF competitions (Gold Cup, World Cup qualifiers etc.) for a while now. They also have bought rights to a lot of matches--particularly in South America--and broadcast them through PPV outlets. So, they've got a lot of background in the sport....certainly more than AEG.

What I'm wondering is:

  1. Why did it take so long to get a new team in Miami?
  2. Why wasn't someone like Traffic approached sooner?

If run correctly, a team in Miami should to very well. The fact that the new team will probably be playing a lot closer to the city center...one reason many believe the Fusion failed.

Additionally, Traffic knows the fans of the sport and how to reach them. Well, the Spanish speaking fans in this country. They've been doing that for years. Seems to me it will be a good fit for everyone involved.

Oh, and it looks like another group will will be putting a team in the Fusion's old stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Should be interesting to see how this rivalry grows.

I wonder how long it will take for Soccer Silicon Valley to approach the USL (or vice-versa) if the Quakes do move? It seems to me a great alternative and if the USL does find the right owners and continues to grow the way it has been the last couple of years, that we could see a situation where USL has teams that can compete with MLS sides...well, maybe one day. But the more MLS teams more/relocate/fold, the more opportunities with a fan base already in place for USL.

Well, it could. USL offers fewer barriers to entry than MLS. Start-up costs are a lot lower and running a team in USL doesn't offer as many restrictions as MLS. Ya never know.

But all that remains to be seen. In the mean time, congratulations to the fans in Miami and good luck to Miami FC.

 
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An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

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