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What Happened to the Last Major Club Soccer Tournament That Miami Announced?

miami soccer challenge 600x358 What Happened to the Last Major Club Soccer Tournament That Miami Announced?

Last week, FOX Soccer and Relevent Ventures announced the launch of the International Champions Cup, a new club soccer tournament that will be played at venues across the globe each summer, with the finals to be played in Miami beginning this August.

The clubs who have agreed to participate thus far are Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and LA Galaxy, with four other clubs set to be revealed in the next two weeks.

But what happened to the last major club soccer tournament that was announced in Miami? Less than one year ago, city officials in Miami announced the launch of the Miami Soccer Challenge, an annual club competition featuring some of the biggest clubs in the world that would play at Miami’s Marlins Park baseball stadium.

Some of the club crests that were proudly displayed as the backdrop for the Miami Soccer Challenge press conference included Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma and many others.

However, EPL Talk has learned that many of the Premier League clubs had their crests prominently displayed, but had never given permission for Miami city officials to use their crest, nor had any agreements with English clubs been signed. There were also rumors of the City of Miami receiving cease-and-desist letters from the English clubs since the team crests were used without their permission, and their use of the crests implied that the English clubs were endorsing the tournament — again, without their permission.

Photos of the press conference backdrop, which feature the club crests can still be viewed on the Miami Marlins official website, as well as here.

So far, the Miami Soccer Challenge has failed to materialize even though the tournament had been touted as launching in January, 2013. Marlins Park did host a friendly between Venezuela and Nigeria in November, 2012 in front of a crowd of 13,000, but so far no English teams have announced any matches to be played as part of the Miami Soccer Challenge for the foreseeable future.

I should add that the International Champions Cup has no affiliation or relationship with Miami Soccer Challenge. They’re two completely separate tournaments run by separate organizations. The International Champions Cup is backed by Relevent Ventures, which is a VC fund founded by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross. The entire International Champions Cup tournament will be shown on FOX Soccer (and presumably FOX Sports 1 beginning next year).

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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5 Responses to What Happened to the Last Major Club Soccer Tournament That Miami Announced?

  1. dust says:

    Perhaps they were in negotiations and figured to push the decision along it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  2. trickybrkn says:

    Do you think Miami can has the built in support levels to fill seats at two tournaments, let alone one? I know as a Floridian you love to see these sorts of events locally, But, would the Northeast, or the West be better venues because of population density? The entire metro Miami area has 5 million people. LA is 16, Chicagoland 10 million, NYC 20 million, add in drivable areas like Philly and Boston closer to 40.
    Last thing I’d do if I was an owner of a top European club is have my team play in a worthless cup in Miami in August. Not so much for the heat, but the amount of rain and humidity. And why would they have matches at Marlins stadium? Surely the Orange Bowl would be a better spot. From a fan perspective, I’d love to see it happen, but you have to figure the economics of this thing caught up with the dream of having these tournaments/cups. And frankly, the last thing as an American I want displayed to the world is AS Roma V Man U with an empty stadium and no noise.

    Besides this all seems pretty sleazy, Is Jeffrey Loria involved? cause that guy IS a sleezeball. Just ask any Marlins fan.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Miami had the highest attendance of last summer’s World Football Challenge (50,000+). Plus Miami had 70,000 for the previous summer’s match between Chivas and Barcelona.

      There’s a large soccer contingent in South Florida that are being underserved by MLS. The appetite for quality soccer in this market is huge. Plus the TV market in this area is often number one in the country for World Cup and other large soccer events.

      I believe Loria was involved in the Miami Soccer Challenge launch, but I’m not 100% sure (I wasn’t at the press conference for that one).

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • trickybrkn says:

        Fair enough, and you are so right that the lack of MLS soccer in South Florida is an embarrassment. And Yes I was shocked at how poorly attended WFC was in Philadelphia, less then half full, and in Washington DC I believe it was a quarter full. But those Miami attendance figures are for one off matches. Having a 12 team tournament just in Miami, I still think would be hard to fill seats… I liked the concept of the WFC with its matches spread all over the USA. But I will say, I was thinking of seeing Real Madrid play Celtic in Philly, but the tickets where a joke. 75 for bad seats, over 100 for good American football seats, I always prefer to be behind the goal but they too where outrageous to see a few names you’d recognize, and the rest being the reserve squad.

  3. christian says:

    Like most things related to the Miami Marlins there are promises made and results never delivered. Loria and Samson are poison.

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