SOCCER

Major League Soccer douses rumors about imminent South Florida franchise

 

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

South Florida soccer fans were abuzz over weekend reports that Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber had met with the Miami Dolphins ownership group last week about bringing an MLS expansion team to Sun Life Stadium.

Turns out, there have been no formal meetings between the two sides, and there is no imminent plan to bring a team to South Florida, although this market will remain in consideration.

Garber and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross have known each other a long time, and have discussed real estate projects in New York. But MLS Vice President Dan Courtemanche dismissed any suggestion that Garber is pushing for Sun Life Stadium’s proposed $400 million worth of renovations, or using possible expansion as an incentive to drum up support from taxpayers.

“We remain focused on securing a 20th team for Major League Soccer in New York, but we do believe we will have an MLS team in the Southeast at some point,” Courtemanche said Monday. “As it relates specifically to potential Florida markets, we have had ongoing discussions with Orlando City SC about expansion in Central Florida, and we know that South Florida is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America.”

“We have a good relationship with RSE Ventures [Ross’ group] through our commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing, but we have not had any formal discussions with RSE or the Dolphins regarding a future expansion team in Miami. We believe we will have an MLS team in South Florida someday, but our current focus remains on securing an expansion team for New York.”

Dolphins CEO Mike Dee addressed the rumors Monday afternoon on Twitter: “Commissioner Garber’s apparent interest in MIA is the latest testament to our growing reputation as the premier soccer market in N. America. While we’ve not taken part in formal discussions re ownership of a MLS team, we’d certainly keep an open mind w/r/t any proposals that could bring an MLS franchise to Miami.”

Read more Sports stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category