“Just a moment ago, FIFA announced that Miami will be getting the bronze game for the 2026 World Cup,” Suarez said in a video on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This is an effort that I’ve been engaged in helping bring to our city over many months and even some years.”
More and more our city is becoming “the” global destination for so many. And in 2026, Miami will receive another great and meaningful distinction. pic.twitter.com/sDot58cpMp
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) February 4, 2024
X users who know the lay of the land were quick to point out that Hard Rock Stadium is located in Miami Gardens, a separate municipality 15 miles away from the City of Miami.
Though Suarez has been promoting the effort to bring the World Cup to Hard Rock Stadium since at least 2021, commenters apparently felt a little more clarity and deference to Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris were in order.
“Miami Gardens is hosting the game not the City of Miami. Maybe this video is better served from @MiamiDadeCounty or @CityofMiaGarden,” user @RealJavi G wrote.
“Liar liar,” one user chimed in.
“Since the stadium is located in Miami Gardens, why isn’t [Mayor Rodney Harris] making this announcement?” a third asked.
The Miami mayor’s back-patting did not end there.
Suarez touted the arrival of soccer superstar Lionel Messi at Inter Miami, commencement of construction of the team’s new stadium, and FIFA’s decision to set up a 60,000-square-foot local headquarters.
“The fact that FIFA has now located its 2026 FIFA World Cup headquarters here in Miami is another one of those great accomplishments and also of course bringing Inter Miami to our city with the finalization of the lease,” Suarez added. “It’s an exciting time for soccer. This continues to put Miami on the global map.”
Last New Times checked, however, FIFA opened the office for its 2026 World Cup headquarters in Coral Gables, not Miami.
One user responded that, “Miami LOVES to market soccer that isn’t actually played in Miami. Fraud City, USA.”
The comment not-so-subtly refers to how Inter Miami plays in Fort Lauderdale at DRV PNK Stadium as it awaits construction of Miami Freedom Park stadium, which is set to open in Miami in 2025 at the site of the former Melreese Country Club. Suarez and soccer legend David Beckham, a part-owner of Inter Miami, have touted the project together on Suarez’s show “Cafecito Talk” and other public forums.
The release of the World Cup schedule comes a year and a half after FIFA’s 2022 announcement that Miami Gardens and Hard Rock Stadium would host matches. Miami Gardens’ mayor heralded the decision to bring the world’s most watched sporting event to his city.
“We have a great partnership with the Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Dolphins, who have called our city home for many years, and are so excited FIFA has chosen our great city to host the event,” Mayor Harris wrote.
Miami is scheduled to host the 2026 World Cup bronze-medal game, a quarterfinals match, and several group stage matches.
As Suarez pointed out when he made his initial argument for World Cup matches in South Florida, Hard Rock Stadium has hosted several high-profile international soccer matches in years past, including an El Clásico matchup between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the 2017 International Champions Cup preseason.
Tyler Fields is your internet guru, delving into the latest trends, developments, and issues shaping the online world. With a focus on internet culture, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies, Tyler keeps readers informed about the dynamic landscape of the internet and its impact on our digital lives.