Miami and the greater South Florida area have long benefited from geography and climate. In recent years, Miami has emerged as a truly global destination and one of the most recognizable American cities abroad. While the area’s reputation isn’t always pristine domestically or even in the state of Florida, internationally the image of the area is quite different.
In recent years, we have seen Miami-Dade County and neighboring Broward County turn more international. The Hispanic population of the area has become more diverse while a greater number of Europeans and Asians have begun to call the Metropolitan Area home. Broward County, already heavily influenced by Canadians and resident from the English-speaking Caribbean will likely in-time see the same type of influx of Europeans that Miami-Dade County is enjoying.
The influx of Europeans and the emergence of Miami as a global city, one of only a handful in North America (others would be Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, New York and maybe Chicago) has led to more media being based in the area.
The major American TV networks long ago kept open its Miami bureaus while shutting down many other domestic news gathering operations. But in recent years, cable news channels, European TV networks and Latin American TV networks have all opened Miami bureaus. Print reporters from across the globe have been posted to Miami by various news agencies and publications. From Miami, these reporters can cover the Caribbean, the southeast United States and in some cases Central America (although it could be argued Houston or Los Angeles is a better jumping off point for that).
I have seen a discernible shift in the soccer world, which reflects international trends. When I got involved in soccer media after the 2006 election, Florida was a wasteland which had one lower division professional team, virtually no soccer media and rarely if ever hosted big international games. In those days,
I had to connected with media in Los Angeles or New York just to be partially relevant.
Eight years later, Orlando is about to kick its first ball in MLS, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville also have high-level professional clubs and Miami is the frequent host for many top international games. That’s not to mention David Beckham launching his own club in the city as early as 2016.
But what has really been interesting to watch is the shift of major media outlets in the sport away from New York and to a lesser extent Los Angeles and towards Miami. Even the governing body for the sport in North America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF recently shifted its headquarters from New York to Miami. CONCACAF governs all leagues and national teams in the region, so Miami has in fact become the headquarters of North American soccer.
Soccer simply provides an example of the shift that has taken place. As Miami quickly emerges as the most cosmopolitan city in the United States, and second in the Americas behind Toronto, more and more media will shift its operations to a logical place where people want to live and work. In this same period Miami’s downtown and skyline have been transformed from pedestrian and typically Florida city, to one of the most impressive looking in the world.
In this period the “airport system” for the region including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have surged into the top busiest on the planet and the fifth busiest in the United States. More travelers, tourists and business-people are gravitating to the area.
It’s not too early to contemplate Miami being the “new” New York at least in media terms. Big business and advertising agencies will never call Miami home the way they do New York – nor will American television networks. But in time we are gradually seeing a shift in international oriented media and news bureaus placing as much as an emphasis on Miami and New York.
This trend is a wonderful thing for the state of Florida.