Will Inter Miami be a Success in South Florida for MLS?

Inter Miami South Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Diego Alonso, owner and president of soccer operations David Beckham and owner Jorge Mas of Inter Miami CF pose for a photo with the team during media availability at Inter Miami CF Stadium on February 25, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Miami’s previous Major League Soccer team failed. There are no two ways around the fact that MLS’s original south Florida team, the Miami Fusion, flopped due to a lack of fan interest. The team only existed for four seasons as MLS struggled to find any kind of foothold across the United States. Inter Miami are expected to be much different than their predecessor and bring high-quality soccer to south Florida. Inter Miami kicked off their inaugural MLS season against last season’s Supporters’ Shield winners Los Angeles FC. Soccer fans can visit 1xBit to get a bet bonus before wagering on the team they believe will win the opening game of the season.

Will Inter Miami be a Success in South Florida for MLS?

MLS returns to South Florida

Like Inter Miami, the Fusion called Lockhart Stadium home during their existence. The biggest difference is Inter Miami will move to their own purpose-built venue in two years’ time, Freedom Park.

Although Lockhart Stadium is no longer known by that name, for all intents and purposes, Inter Miami will call the Fort Lauderdale location home. The name has changed and the stadium has been upgraded after it fell into disrepair following soccer club the Fort Lauderdale Strikers leaving the ground. Inter Miami could face the same issue the Fusion once did and that problem is attracting soccer fans from the city of Miami proper to travel to Fort Lauderdale for the games. The stadium may look far nicer than it once did, but the club will judge on the product on the pitch.

The Fusion’s Legacy

The Fusion’s best season in the attendance department came in 2001 with over 11,100 fans on average turning up to games. The 2001 season was the Fusion’s best on the pitch as they made the Conference Semifinals after winning the Eastern Conference.

The reason Inter Miami will be different than the Fusion of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the ultimate reason the club will succeed is the landscape of soccer and sports in the United States.

Florida has a successful soccer club in the northern part of the state with Orlando City. The Lions may not have won a trophy, but the club are well supported with an average of 22,761 fans per game in 2019 showing up to home matches.

Being co-owned by soccer legend David Beckham won’t hurt matters nor will the club’s ability to draw top players to Miami to live and play. The Herons are already linked with European soccer stars Sergio Aguero, David Silva, and Neymar. Soccer fandom has grown in America in the last 20 years and Inter Miami can cultivate the ground that has already been sowed by others.

A Desired Soccer City

Miami has long been a city MLS had its eye on. After leaving the city in 2001, MLS continued to flirt with the south Florida location but until Beckham came along, never committed at team to it.

Miami has been a wild west for soccer since 2001 with a number of teams of various levels playing in and around it. The two most significant clubs in recent years were Miami Fusion FC (not to be confused with the MLS team) and Miami FC.

The latter competed in the now-defunct NASL and most recently, after a hiatus, competed in the USL Championship. To say they have been a mess of a franchise is an understatement. Miami Fusion FC played in the NPSL and lasted just two seasons. Both soccer clubs tried to bring high-quality soccer to Miami, but they each lacked something Inter Miami have in droves: Professionalism.

Inter Miami are a real professional soccer club and fans in the city and its surrounding towns should flock to Inter Miami CF Stadium to see top-quality soccer. If Beckham and his co-owners can lure big named stars, then Inter Miami could become the biggest thing in MLS.

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