Identifying the Right Fan Base Is Key to a Successful MLS Launch
At this Tuesday’s State of the League press conference, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber offered up a few sound bites regarding league expansion:
- Regarding expansion into Miami and Atlanta, he said, “I wouldn’t say we’re close in either of those markets.”
- And regarding expansion in general, he said it “starts with the ownership group and moves to a downtown stadium.”
I don’t want to diminish the importance of either of those 2 factors. As a Washington, D.C., native, I’ve seen my Redskins suffer for years under the watch of owner Dan Snyder, and I’ve seen the malaise that has crept into the DC United scene due to the lack of a decent stadium.
But, notably with a proposed MLS Miami team, I think more pointed questions need to be asked. Namely: exactly who are the fans for such a team?
In this Soccer Newsday column, I investigate which target markets MLS Miami should target. In particular, I state the need to move beyond such loosely defined terms as “Hispanic” and “international” when describing such demographic sectors. I also analyze the population figures for the local South Florida counties, and how those populations might be able to support both an MLS club in Miami and the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Please click the link to read the full article.