Inter Miami are Getting Their Stadium, and That's Good for Orlando City
Congratulations Inter Miami, you're actually getting your stadium. After a lengthy political process, the south Florida club finally reached an agreement on the proposed Miami Freedom Park project, a massive complex built around the new Inter Miami home stadium in the city proper.
This stadium could revolutionize Inter Miami and MLS as a whole. Miami's current stadium, DRVPNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, was always meant to be a temporary arrangement and future training stadium, and now the new facility is on its way.
It's supposedly going to be a 25,000 seat venue, though a report in the Miami Herald says it could be as large as 40,000, which would easily make it the largest soccer-specific venue in American history. Regardless of size, getting Inter Miami in Miami changes everything and can make the Herons into the enormous brand they so badly want to be.
So where does Orlando City fit into this?
Well, a good Inter Miami is good for Orlando City. It creates a fun derby and more importantly it makes the league more important in the culture of the state. Miami won't magically become a good soccer team with a new stadium, but they definitely become a more relevant one, and that matters for the visibility of MLS in the state, country and even globally.
Orlando will always be visible because their potential biggest rivals, Inter Miami, will always be visible. It's easy to get lost in the shadow of a big branded rival like that, but it only further incentivizes Orlando City ownership to push the envelope on and off the field as well to keep pace with the revitalized Miami franchise and free-spending Atlanta to the north.
I'll miss the banter of calling Inter Miami a Ft. Lauderdale team, but for the growth of the league in this state and this country, Miami getting it's act together is the best thing that could've possibly happened.