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Beckham will need to follow Miami Heat model for MLS to be a success

David Beckham's MLS expansion franchise will need to be an instant success through star power if he wants to attract healthy crowds.

They are the sentiments of ESPN Radio host Jorge Sedano, who grew up in Miami, and knows the sporting landscape in South Florida well.

A report in the Miami Herald suggests that fans have largely stayed away from sporting franchises in the region with NFL's Miami Dolphins, MLB's Miami Marlins and NHL's Florida Panthers all battling for consistently strong crowds.

Basketball franchise Miami Heat are at the other spectrum, attracting the fourth-highest average attendance this season, after taking out the 2012 and 2013 NBA championships and Sedano sees their model as the one Beckham and his partners need to follow in order to achieve success with their soccer team.

"Beckham's team has to win," said Sedano. "Any team in South Florida has to win to be a draw.

"In drawing fans to games in South Florida, star power is a factor, too. And it has to feel like an event, that it's a place people want to be seen at, like Heat games."

Sedano, however, felt the franchise would not work if it was based outside of the downtown or Miami beach area.

"I believe it would not be a success outside of the downtown area because the majority of the soccer faithful in South Florida are Latin American, not Caribbean Hispanics," he added to the Miami Herald.

"The Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans traditionally are not soccer fans. The younger generation like myself has slowly started to get into it.

"The traditional soccer fans from South Florida are from South and Central America, and the majority of those people live in the downtown or Miami Beach area."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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