5 Reasons Why David Beckham Should Select Broward County For His MLS Team Location

sunrise soccer land 5 Reasons Why David Beckham Should Select Broward County For His MLS Team Location

After Friday’s bombshell that David Beckham has expressed an interest in speaking with Broward County to discuss a potential stadium site for his MLS team instead of Miami, the potential move got us thinking about all of the advantages of having the team based in Broward. Although it’s still very early days, all we see are positives regarding the potential move.

Here are the 5 reasons why David Beckham should select Broward for his MLS team location:

1) No political games

Broward County would welcome a MLS team with open arms. And most importantly for Beckham, he can expect fewer political mind games than what he’s already experienced in Miami-Dade County where mayors and politicians are quick to get a photo op, but slow to enact change unless it benefits them personally.

2) Successful soccer market

Miami-Dade County has never had one successful professional soccer team. Not one. Broward County, meanwhile, has had a proven track record of success with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Then in 2009, with the Miami FC franchise practically on life support with attendances in the hundreds of people for each game, the team owners decided to play some of their games in Broward County. The change had an immediate impact with attendances increasing to more than 1,000 per game on average. Based on the boost the team received from attendances and merchandise sales, the team owners decided to rebrand Miami FC as the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 2010. And the team hasn’t looked back since.

3) More land, more choices

If David Beckham wants his MLS dream to become a reality, the chances of it happening in Broward County instead of Miami-Dade County are far greater. One of the main reasons for this is that the Broward County has more land available to build a stadium on, including a large area near the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

4) Easily accessible

If David Beckham’s investors and Broward County are able to secure a deal for a stadium in western Broward County, the location is far more accessible for South Florida than the two downtown Miami options that were being considered by Beckham.

The parcel of land near BB&T Center is easily accessible to residents from all of South Florida including Miami-Dade County (via I-75), Broward County (via Sunrise Boulevard and I-595) and Palm Beach County (via the Sawgrass Expressway).

Instead of building a soccer stadium in downtown Miami that would only be accessible to 2.5 million of the 5.7 million inhabitants of South Florida, a stadium in western Broward would be more accessible to residents in all three South Florida counties.

5) Better parking and facilities

The area near BB&T Center is conveniently located next to Sawgrass Mills, which is a large indoor mall that is a destination spot for locals and tourists alike. That outlet mall draws 23 million visitors annually and is the second-biggest tourist attraction in Florida behind Walt Disney World. The stores, restaurants and plenty of free parking options offers potential soccer fans the opportunity to spend a day in the area combining shopping with going to see a professional soccer game.

Update: Soccer fans in Miami-Dade County are already complaining that the distance is too far for them to drive. Here are some facts to consider:

1. If a MLS stadium is built in downtown Miami, here are the distances that soccer fans would have to drive:

• West Palm Beach: 72 miles,
• Fans near BB&T Center in Sunrise: 36 miles,
• Fort Lauderdale: 29 miles.

That’s an average of 45 miles.

2. If a MLS stadium was built next to BB&T Center in Sunrise here are the distances that soccer fans would have to drive:

• Fans near American Airlines in downtown Miami: 36 miles,
• Fort Lauderdale: 19 miles,
• West Palm Beach: 53 miles.

That’s an average of 36 miles.

A MLS stadium in western Broward is going to attract more real soccer fans from throughout South Florida who don’t mind driving to see top-class soccer. South Florida is not Miami. And Miami is not South Florida.

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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9 Responses to 5 Reasons Why David Beckham Should Select Broward County For His MLS Team Location

  1. Bruce Gottesman says:

    Well, the Sunrise location is closer to you – and only 10 minutes from me! Also not to be forgotten is the population growth in southwest Broward and western Miami-Dade – the latter would have about the same commute to Sunrise as to downtown Miami. The there’s the large infux of Brazilian immigrants in northeast Broward – the yellow and green flags are everywhere around my office this month. But you also have to take into account the previous failure of MLS in Broward…

  2. Alex Gago says:

    Let’s not forget MLS owns Chivas USA and David could find himself the new owner back in LA with a new brand and stadium.

  3. Leslie Starr says:

    Another reason and better location, if they redo Lockhart Stadium & share with the Strikers the access triples! Its right off I-95 easy for Palm Beach, Miami, & Broward. The TriRail train station is right there(less than 2 miles away), once again access for 3 counties, airport is right there, not far from the turnpike, and it can be accessed from the Sawgrass Expressway. Now that’s a win, win, win!

  4. Weston John says:

    As a resident of Weston, I love the idea of having the team play near the BB&T. Super convenient for my family to go to games. Go to a County that actually would love to host the team.

  5. Richard Giordano Jr says:

    Build in Broward, I will be a season seat owner.

  6. Go North to Broward says:

    Short-term: play at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.

    Long-term: partner with a school or a school district to build in Broward

    MLS has two major problem that needs to be fixed:

    1. DC United. Needs new stadium somewhere between Baltimore and Arlington. “Smart move” would be to move OUT of DC, where allegedly 60% of its residents don’t want DC United to build a tax-payer subsidized stadium (according to a Washington Post poll.) The politics in DC are just as messy as they are in Miami-Dade (if not even worse.)

    2. Chivas USA. The Vergaras no longer want anything to do with it.

    A possible “quick fix” is for MLS to “buy out” the Chivas USA franchise and turn it into “Beckham United FC”.

  7. scott47a says:

    A soccer stadium needs to be a place where people walk to, not drive to. The suburban model has been a failure all across the United States – Foxboro, Bridgeview, Frisco, etc.
    If Miami doesn’t want a team, that’s cool. But putting a team where everyone must drive to it will kill any chance of this working in South Florida.
    It’s not worth doing if it isn’t done right.

    • Christopher Harris says:

      No one walks in South Florida. Everyone drives — even if it’s 5 minutes down the road. Even if Miami got the stadium, 95% of the people going to the game would drive.

      The length of South Florida — from top to bottom — is roughly 290 miles. That’s a lot of walking!

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