La Liga Open To Playing Games In Miami

Euros and dollars rule.

The National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and the Dolphins stadium owner Stephen Ross must have been happy to hear this. The Spanish Football Federation is thinking about the possibility of allowing La Liga games in Miami. The Spanish league and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, blocked Ross’s plan of having Spanish soccer league games played at his facility in prior years. Two scheduled La Liga matches at Ross’s stadium were scrubbed. Ross’s 2014 agreement with Miami Dade County had Ross put up money to rebuild his stadium in exchange for subsidies for big events. The 2020 Super Bowl in Miami Gardens brought $5 million in handouts to Ross. That is what Miami Dade County kicked back to him through hotel taxes. A soccer match would bring in $750,000. One of Ross’s companies, Relevant Sports, signed a 15-year deal with the Spanish soccer league to stage an annual game in Miami.

The Miami proposal was all about money. Ross wanted it, La Liga wanted it and there was a market in Miami. Part of Ross’s pitch about the matches was simple. The contests would have attracted well-heeled Spaniards to Miami and put tourist money into Miami’s economy. That would have put money in Ross’s pocket. It is about dollars and perhaps FIFA’s beef with the La Liga games in Miami was that FIFA wasn’t seeing any dollars or euros flow back its way. The Royal Spanish Football Federation was not on board either nor was Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The Spanish federation didn’t think a regular season match outside of Spain was good for fans. FIFA is concerned about business overshadowing matches even though FIFA officials love money and there are international matches in America. FIFA claims it is all about matches, never business. But that thinking may be changing.

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