The vision for a new sports and entertainment complex on the Orange Bowl site includes a $100 million, 25,000-seat home for a new Major League Soccer team.
But in addition to competition from Atlanta, Las Vegas and five other major American and Canadian cities, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz will have to fend off a much closer challenger: Florida International University.
''We're willing to do whatever it takes to get Major League Soccer in our stadium,'' said Pete Garcia, athletic director at FIU, which is opening a nearly 18,000-seat field in September on its main West Dade campus.
The stadium will be home to the FIU football team, which only plays six home games a year. With 19 luxury suites, 1,400 club seats and locker rooms that conform to soccer-league standards -- and a design that could later expand to as many as 45,000 seats -- Garcia believes it would be ideal for the MLS.