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An Athlete’s Paradise: Miami Attracting Global Sporting Events

by | Jul 12, 2017
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An Athlete’s Paradise: Miami Attracting Global Sporting Events


Major sporting events promote a city globally, attract new residents and fuel commercial investment.

On Tuesday, Miami hosted its first Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Hosting major events such as the 88th annual Midsummer Classic and this month’s El Clásico soccer game between Real Madrid and Barcelona have an immediate and long term impact on the South Florida economy.

Miami’s All-Star Game is expected to contribute $80 million to the local economy, according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Then there’s the long term impact. Visitors who come to Miami for the sporting events see Miami’s beaches, lifestyle, skyline and parks and envision living here. Miami’s lifestyle is also promoted during the sporting event’s telecasts nationally and internationally.

The MLB All-Star Game is the most viewed all-star game out of the four major U.S. sports. The game was televised worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International’s independent feed.

2017 MLB All-Star Game
The 2017 MLB All-Star Game in Miami is not only the first to be played in Miami, but the first to take place in the state of Florida. The 2017 All-Star Game is perhaps the largest showcase to date for Marlins Park, a ballpark that opened in 2012.

The event involves more than a singular event. The MLB All-Star Game has transitioned into All-Star Weekend, with Miami also hosting a popular MLB FanFest, Celebrity Game, Futures Game, Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.

About 100,000 tickets were sold for Miami’s FanFest, which was heled at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Nineteen hotels in Miami-Dade County have contracted with MLB to host attendees for the event.

National Exposure
The 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego drew 8.71 million viewers and a 5.4 household rating, according to Nielson’s live-plus-same-day data. While the numbers were down from the 2015 game, the MLB All-Star Game remains the most viewed All-Star Game out of the four major U.S. sports.
Sport                                                            Ratings
MLB All-Star Game (Fox) 5.4 rating, 8.71 million viewers
NFL Pro Bowl (ESPN)                   4.5 rating, 8 million viewers
NBA All-Star Game (TNT/TBS)         4.3 rating, 7.6 million viewers
NHL All-Star Game (NBCSN)            0.9 rating, 1.595 viewers

Miami’s El Clásico to be broadcasted in 185 Countries
El Clásico, the matchup between soccer supernovas Real Madrid and Barcelona, will be played in the United States for the first time. The franchises will play July 29 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo will lead their superstar teams in a highly-anticipated preseason match.

When the two teams met in April 2017, more than 800 professionals covered the game. International TV broadcasters showed the game in 185 countries with a potential audience of 650 million spectators.

It will be just the second time that Real Madrid and Barcelona play a friendly on foreign soil. The only other time occurred in 1982 when they placed a third-place match in a postseason tournament in Venezuela.

Like the All-Star Game, there will be a series of events before the big game. Miami’s Bayfront Park will run endless events with former players and celebrities. Marc Anthony will perform at halftime of El Clásico in Miami.

Super Bowl 2020 in Miami
Miami is also set to host the most-watched U.S. sporting event: the Super Bowl.

The Dolphins play in state-of-the-art Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Owner Stephen Ross spent roughly a half billion dollars to modernize the stadium last year. The improvements included a $250 million shaded canopy. The Dolphins’ home stadium has hosted five Super Bowls, America’s most-watched sporting event. Miami will host another Super Bowl in 2020, the NFL announced.

Hard Rock Stadium isn’t just for football. The Brazil men’s national team will play a series of matches at Hard Rock; Real Madrid will visit the stadium in 2017. The stadium is also Miami-Dade County’s only true outdoor concert venue. The stadium plans to host major music festivals and more.

World Baseball Classic in Miami
This spring also saw Miami host the World Baseball Classic, a quadrennial tournament that pits nation against nation during spring training.

Miami hosted six WBC games in total, all in Pool C, which also includes Canada and Colombia. Marlins Park’s roughly 37,000 seats were filled on most nights, including the sold-out United States vs. Dominican Republic game.

Miami: An Athlete’s Paradise
International home buyers want world-class entertainment, and Miami’s three major sports squads are providing it in new or relatively new venues. The NBA’s Miami Heat, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins and NFL’s Miami Dolphins have each won championships and gained international recognition.

Downtown Miami’s resurgence was underway when LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat in 2010, but his team’s success helped encourage residents, business owners and developers to relocate or do more business in Miami.

Today, Downtown Miami has more than doubled its population to 80,000 in the last decade. named Downtown Miami as the nation’s fourth-fastest growing neighborhood. Downtown cultural institutions like the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the Perez Art Museum are attracting new residents and businesses.

Major League Soccer coming to Miami?
Legendary soccer player and global icon David Beckham, who used to play for Real Madrid, is planning to build a new, 25,000-seat Miami stadium for a new Major League Soccer expansion team. Multiple reports say the team may begin playing in 2019.

Soccer, of course, is the world’s most popular sport. According to FIFA’s most recent Big Count survey, there are 265 million players actively involved in soccer around the world, roughly about 4 percent of the world’s population.

Soccer is a perfect fit for South Florida as the region is an international melting pot with many residents coming from countries where fùtbol is a national passion.

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