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Miami’s MLS expansion bid is dead

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The Miami MLS Expansion bid has been removed from consideration after the league and the ownership group agreed that the time wasn't right for an expansion team in Miami, MLS announced on Tuesday.

The bid began to crumble as the global economic crisis left FC Barcelona cautious about going forward with its involvement, while also leaving billionare investor Marcelo Claure concerned about the viability of a soccer team in the Miami area in the current shaky economic climate.

Miami's exit from the process leaves Vancouver, Portland, St. Louis and Ottawa as the final four candidates for two expansion spots for 2011.

What do you think of this development? Surprised to see Miami go from apparent front-runner to out of the race? Who would you pick from the remaining teams to be the two cities chosen? Are you starting to wonder if the league will expand at all?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. WHY?! WHY GOD?! Why am I being punished for loving soccer in South Florida? I could always go to the Honduras v El Salvador matches at Lockhart. Or drive two hours to watch Miami FC. Oh wait a second, are they going fold too?

  2. Anyone who does not want st louis in this is a joke. it has more soccer history, heritage and participation than any other city in the U.S. Hands down. end of story.

    Comparing St Louis to Kansas City is like comparing Hercules to his imaginary red headed step brother.

  3. wow, miss a day of SBI and look what happens!

    I say vancouver and portland. most likely to succeed in this economy.

  4. Ives,

    I have posted here in the past, check your records. I will be posting in the future. Just becuase I don’t slobber all over your site doesn’t mean I have never contributed.

    If you want to come out to Portland and learn some facts I will take you out for drinks before a game.

  5. I’m not buying STL. I just don’t see it. Portland has just as much support for the game. Furthermore, you can’t judge how well MLS will do based on youth participation. Soccer is and has had the most youth participation levels out of all sports for a few decades, yet it doesn’t carry over to the professional soccer.

    Why can’t there be 3 teams in the Northwest? Just because the cities are relatively close? That will add to the rivalry. In no way will these three teams split one audience. It adds two more markets.

  6. Top 3 USL are ready for the challenge (Montreal, Vancouver and Portland).

    These 3 cities have a pro soccer team for years and great fan base they deserve to be there sooner or later.

    Compare them with St.Louis (1995-last year with a pro-team), Atlanta (fold USL1 team), Miami (not even sure to play in USL1 this year) or Ottawa (what is a soccer team?) is a joke. But MLS seems more and more like a joke, a 40M$ bid joke.

  7. great! a miami franchise would have been a terrible decision. I am still keeping hope alive for expansion to Portland and StL. Both of those cities have tremendous support for soccer.

  8. I think some of us South Florida residents and former Fusion ticket holders who were savaged on this board and called racists amongst other names for saying Miami would not support a franchise feel somewhat vindicated now that Barcelona has put its head in front of its ego.

    It is a tragedy we don’t have a MLS team. In the end support in South Florida for any sport besides the NFL is a very risky endeavor in good financial times and bad.

    I really wish the truth was otherwise because i suffer but why ask anyone to invest in this market in good conscience?

    PS- RED BULL FANS- Did anyone see that Diego Serna was playing in the Copa Miami amateur tournament for a side from Kendall? How far the mightily talented have fallen. The guy had world class striking talent-ask any person who attend more than a few Fusion matches- but sadly no commitment or brains when it came to being a professional.

  9. MLS should go with Portland and Vancouver as they have proven fanbases and have shown they can be successful. That’s important right now. I’d encourage St. Louis and Ottawa (as well as NYC) to go to USL1 for a few years and show they can be successful before getting “promoted.” Thats a very solid model.

  10. Take all four, with whoever is most ready for 2011 joining then (so Portland and Vancouver), have Joey Saputo buy Chivas, move Chivas to Montreal.

  11. It could be that Ives was right about Miami, and were waiting on them to commit. Also, if Portland is a leader they will want to wait on the city council vote.

  12. The hold could be that ives was right about Miami and wanted to announce but Miami had reservations so they held off a bit.. also if Portland is in the running they will want to wait for the vote on the stadium

  13. Translation: If the public money doesn’t come through for Portland, there won’t be expansion in 2011. MLS will wait for the economic climate to improve and readdress in the near future. Maybe in 2013.

  14. I am beginning to believe that MLS will only expand to Portland in 2011.

    St. Louis never has enough monetary support.

    Ottawa has the money, but MLS wants a stadium deal with city done first.

    Portland has the money and hopefully a stadium deal with the city very soon.

    I haven’t heard that much about Vancouver.

    Montreal may be back in the running if MLS drops the expansion fee down.

    For me, if anyone gets an expansion team, it is Portland. Sad, since I would be fine with Portland, St. Louis, Montreal, or Vancouver getting a team.

  15. I’d like to think St. Louis and probably Portland, but I wonder what the holdup is. First is was January or whenever, then it seemed like the draft in St. Louis would be a perfect time, especially if St. Louis was getting a team. Now we’re into March without an announcement date set, and (if I remember correctly, the decision was “pushed back” to late Feb – early March. It sounded fishy when they pushed the announcement back, and I’m seriously starting to think that this will all quietly go away

  16. I’m happy Barca didn’t get it. It seemed to me like Barca was planning to treat Miami like little more than a minor league feeder team. That’s no good for MLS’s rep thinking long-term. Probably even worse of an arrangement than Chivas USA and that team is doing the worst of all MLS teams.

    I’m indifferent between Vancouver and Portland, but you gotta bring in St.Louis so there’s more midwestern representation.

  17. Portland and Vancouver… on it.

    Vancouver has the best ownership group of those left standing. Cutting a $40 million check is not going to cause those guys to worry.

    They also have a good (maybe not perfect but very adequate) stadium deal in place and they’ll get to play in a stadium that looks earily like the Allianz Arena in Germany.

    All the noise from Portland indicates City Hall is on board to refurbish the old ball park for soccer and build a new facility for baseball. The Paulson’s have supposedly provided sufficient assurances to make City Hall comfortable so this is looking like a done deal.

    The rivalry in the Pacific Northwest is going to be fantastic.

  18. Come on we all know that Barcelona wanted to have a team in Miami, But Mr. Beckham started to open his big mouth about the level of play in this league and that he didn’t want to come back all that crap. I supported beckham when he came over and now he just make a jerk of himself and this league. As a Galaxy fan I should just trade his ass and get Shecheinko(sorry for the spell) but anyways after all that, suddendly Barcelona started to talk about ummm we have to think and insvistigate more about the league, Ohh the econimic and all that BS.. Ohhh Well thank you very much mr. Beckham yes you are the embassador of the MLS, YOU embaress this league brought us back few years back. MR. President of this league open those wallet and bring better players so we can grow more as a elite league.

  19. The other Garrett advocating an East Coast Bias from SBI which coincidentally is based in New York and loves talking about John O’Brien!

    I believe its a shamockery… honestly, I’d also personally like having Steve Nash in an ownership group, so Vancouver would be a nice selection. I’d prefer that KC Wiz move to St. Louis and have a Canada team enter the mix. Until the MLS buys out the USL and captures all of Canada!

  20. I’d like to see St Louis and one of Vancouver or Portland. Then future round being the other west coast team and either NYC or SW coast (ATL?). But I also have a personal connection to STL and none to the West Coast.

  21. Montreal is the best city for expansion..unfortunatly their bid is not (no $40M)

    Too bad because that city would be another TFC type success (off the field) no question.

  22. I think it would be hard to turn down Vancouver right now, as they are the only team with huge financial backing, they have a stadium deal in place, a natural rivalry with Seattle and a way to spread the league out more.

  23. Vancouver and Ottawa! Screw you USA!
    TFC needs Canadian playmates and Montreal is out, so these are the best options.
    They’ll be supported just as well as TFC and they will send revenue sharing dollars down south to subsidize all those American teams with crappy attendances.

  24. Portland and Vancouver. Instant derby in the northwest, good fanbases, history.

    As someone that HAS posted here before your insights have been pretty short sighted Ives. You once said St. Louis should be in and shortly thereafter Garber came out and said they don’t have enough financial backing. You’ve been solidly behind Miami despite the COUNTLESS flaws in their bid. You have marginalized Portland’s bid since the start, even admittedly said you knew nothing about Portland or it’s soccer culture on a Q&A and a lot of us are bitter about it. Heirarchy may not have posted before but he, and everyone else with an interest in Portland, has been following your reporting of the expansion process closely.

    Saying that may get me banned but it’s the truth.

  25. Hell yes more Canadians! what Eric K. have ou lost your luster for filled stadiums?

    I’m betting on St. Louis and Vancouver…though I’d take Vancouver and Portland. I think Ottawa has to be after Montreal,(who bowed out already).

  26. St. Louis have one of the best fan bases and best youth soccer scenes in the country. Their financial backing may not be the best, but I think they deserve it.


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