In a shocking announcement, Major League Soccer, FC Barcelona, and Bolivian investor Marcelo Claure have jointly agreed that Miami is no longer a candidate to be one of the next two MLS expansion teams.
After extensive discussions and
collaborative evaluation, a decision was made that at this time because
it was determined that it was not feasible to launch a Major League
Soccer team in South Florida in 2010 due to adverse market conditions.
Notwithstanding, FC Barcelona remains
committed to Major League Soccer and the U.S. market and will continue
to work with MLS and Marcelo Claure on other soccer-related projects.
“I want to thank both FC Barcelona and
Marcelo Claure for the tremendous effort to bring an MLS expansion team
to Miami,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “FC Barcelona is one of
the best managed and strategically operated sporting clubs in any sport
in the World and I appreciate the opportunity that we have had to work
with them and Marcelo Claure over the last few months.”
“The U.S market continues to be a
priority for FC Barcelona,” said FC Barcelona CEO Joan Oliver. “We
will continue our comprehensive game promotion and marketing agreement
with Soccer United Marketing and will look for additional ways to
strengthen our relationship with MLS and America’s soccer fans.”
“I remain a believer in MLS and the
future of professional soccer in America… particularly in South
Florida,” said Marcelo Claure. “Although we have not been able to move
forward at this time for a wide variety of reasons, I will work with FC
Barcelona on other soccer projects in South Florida.”