Last week David Beckham announced that he would start a new soccer team based out of Miami. The soccer superstar, former captain of both LA Galaxy and Real Madrid, is optimistic despite previous soccer failures in Florida. One factor Beckham might be relying on is Miami’s large Latino population and the current changes it has endured in the past years.
Before Beckham’s team there was the Miami Fusion, a team so unappreciated many have forgot it but it represents the challenge to overcome in this new project, as the New York Daily News explains. Former Fusion player Garth Lagerwey explains how the location also comes with other obstacles: “You literally need something to protect the seats out of the sun. It’s gonna have to be a little more expensive than some of the MLS stadiums because you’re gonna have to have protection. It’s literally hot enough during the day where you can’t sit down on a chair.” Aside from that, Miami is not a good market, already struggling to increase attendance from other teams, he adds.
But Miami’s Latino population might make the difference. As The Guardian points out, Miami is 70 percent percent Latino and this group has changed from the well-known number of Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, Argentineans, Colombians and Brazilians have moved into the city with increasing numbers and, unlike their Caribbean counterparts, they tend to be avid soccer fans.
This helps the proposal for a new stadium in the Port of Miami near Little Havana, now home to Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Colombians. However, it is reported that they yet lack the support of the city counsel. Beckham has to show them that project would work and is good for the city. Regardless, the Latino community has made an interesting and unexpected effect on the outcome.
–Courtesy of Latin Post