Miami-Dade commissioner wants proposal for MLS franchise

Juan Zapata asks for proposal using FIU stadium

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MIAMI - A Miami-Dade commissioner wants county officials to create a proposal in hopes of bringing Major League Soccer back to South Florida.

Juan Zapata sent the following memorandum to Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Wednesday:

"The decision to find a home for a new Major League Soccer franchise is nearing a conclusion and there is speculation that Miami-Dade County is the preferred location over other major cities, which have put together some extremely attractive offers to lure a potential MLS franchise.  I urge you to put together a County proposal that includes FIU as a temporary stadium, since our County Attorney and our bond counsel has opined it would qualify for funding from the $75 million in the General Obligation Bond Program's Economic Development Fund.  The County's proposal should also incorporate the 160 Acres owned by Miami-Dade County in West Kendall for a potential international soccer training facility that would serve as a training center for our professional team and youth soccer academy sponsored by professional teams, as well as host international and national tournaments.  Finally, the County's proposal would also be eligible for Convention Development Tax Dollars. 

We have facilities, acreage and potential sources of funding to put together a very competitive package to close this deal.  Major League Soccer combined with an international training facility would be a game changer in our community and would generate economic development and significant jobs."

Former England captain David Beckham reportedly wants his MLS franchise in Miami. Another possible bid also emerged this week.

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