The readers’ forum

Miami-Dade is a soccer champion

 

Goal! Not just for Real Madrid, but also for Miami-Dade County.

Soccer is one of the planet’s most popular sports. We recently had the honor of hosting eight of the world’s best teams with more than 100,000 euphoric fans over two days filling Sun Life Stadium while millions more watched on TV from over 150 countries.

The first International Champions Cup is officially in the books, and although Real Madrid took home the trophy, the real winner was Miami-Dade County, which took center stage as the epicenter of the soccer universe.

As chair of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, I can attest to the fact that the week’s festivities were 30 years in the making, with two South Florida visionaries leading the charge to bring world-class soccer to our diverse community.

The legendary Joe Robbie had a dream, and Steve Ross made it a reality.

Events of this magnitude are a tremendous boon for our local economy. Approximately 10 percent of all jobs in Miami-Dade County are sports-related. Such events fill hotels and restaurants while supporting thousands of jobs across various sectors of our community, particularly tourism. In addition, sporting events serve as a positive shared experience that brings people together from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds.

These events are too important to be taken for granted. It’s up to all of us to ensure that events like the International Champions Cup return to Miami-Dade frequently. If we can provide the world-class environment, amenities and services that organizers and visitors expect, our beautiful beaches and impeccable weather will do the rest.

Let’s all come together as a community and show the world what we already know: There’s no better place for major events than right here in Miami-Dade County.

Lynda Bell, vice chair, Miami-Dade

County Commission, Miami

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