2018 Forecast Calls for Flopping

USA World Cup Bid Committee has its eye on Land Shark Stadium

Optimistic futbol fans should mark their calendars: Miami is in the running to be a 2018 World Cup host city.

In a twice-removed sort of way, that is.  The USA Bid Committee, who need to meet FIFA requirements of 12-18 stadiums with 40,000-plus capacity and one stadium with room for at least 80,000, have asked Miami and Land Shark Stadium to form a council and submit a proposal that could award them a round of group play and ultimately include them as part of a comprehensive bid on behalf of the US. 

Considering the record-breaking success of the 1994 World Cup, held in 9 different American cities, Uncle Sam has a pretty good shot against Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, and two joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain.

Land Shark, which seats just under 75,000 for soccer, is one of 45 venues asked to enter a second round of the selection process from an original list of 58.  Why bother? Committee, let's save some time and effort and just shoot Miami to the first round (er, poor choice of words; please don't worry about the crime rate). 

The weather is appropriate, the city handles an influx of international visitors every day, and the unique cultural makeup is both welcoming and stimulating.  While charming places, that's not necessarily true of other contending cities like Knoxville and Ann Arbor (though one could make the case that Michigan fans certainly come from someplace else).  Florida has a strong, built-in soccer following, and a high-speed rail coming down the pipeline that would make awarding Miami and Orlando or Miami and Tampa a very convenient, easy option. 

And if any metro area can handle the crazy of the World Cup, well, it's South Florida: we've got our own mostly-naked fans on the streets, team debauchery, and wag drama.

In other words, Miami's doing this already.  How 'bout we just plop a ball down and start throwing people out for head-butting?

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