FC Barcelona's Chief Executive Officer Joan Oliver
has said that the Spanish team's chances of landing a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami stand at 90 percent. Barcelona,
together with Miami-based Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure
, in October submitted one of a half dozen bids for two available franchises.
"If it's confirmed,
we expect to make a profit in the second year," Oliver said in London. "However, we are making an investment in our image, not financially. It won't cost us any money." Claure, the
CEO of Brightstar Corp., will stump up the $40 million expansion fee together with other sponsors.
After touring the U.S. several times, Oliver said that Barcelona is seeking a new
marketing impetus, adding that "we are pioneers, and if turns out well other clubs will follow us."
Meanwhile, Claure said in the Miami Herald
that MLS still needs some convincing that Miami is one of the best two candidates. "They said they want to see more
support from people here, and there was some concern about the stadium not being up to par with other MLS stadiums," Claure said after MLS Commissioner Don Garber
and a league
delegation visited the city and its proposed stadium at FIU last week. "They want better press boxes, more amenities, and they had questions about the artificial turf, which we told them is the
best turf there is."
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