Barcelona and Miami Finalize Expansion Bid

Barcelona and Miami Finalize Expansion Bid

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 14, 2008
  • Expansion Hopefuls, Miami Expansion, MLS Expansion

Okay, another expansion bid is done and sent off to Major League Soccer’s front office today. This morning it was Ottawa and this afternoon it is Miami.

Spanish giant FC Barcelona has submitted a formal request for an expansion club in the city of Miami to MLS.

Barcelona wants to expand its brand in the United States and is applying to co-own a Major League Soccer franchise that would begin play in 2011.

Barcelona announced on its website that it would partner with Miami resident Marcelo Claure, a Bolivian cellphone magnate and owner of FC Bolivar, to launch a team in Miami. Claure is the CEO of Brightstar Communications, a multibillion-dollar company that is one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States. Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona, and Joan Oliver, the club’s general director, plan to be in Miami Wednesday to present their plans.

The biggest flaw I see right now is where the club will play. Even with Barcelona on the bid I just don’t know if that will be strong enough to convince MLS to go back to Miami if there is no definite stadium plans at the moment. For now it appears to be Florida International University’s football stadium.

While there is no definitive plan as to where the team would play, ”the most likely solution will be Florida International University, with whom negotiations are already at a late stage as the potential club seeks to use the facility for at least the first two years of its existence,” read the website.

The deadline for an expansion bid is tomorrow evening at 5pm ET. So far we have Miami, Ottawa, Portland, Vancouver, St. Louis and Montreal in the mix. Anyone else to come in last minute? Probably not. Still we won’t know anything until at least MLS Cup.