Expansion Bits

TonyMeolaOrlando is on the precipice of an official expansion announcement, but there was also some juicy business news from the City of Mickey earlier today.  Orlando Health, the current primary sponsor of Orlando City Soccer Club, will remain the jersey sponsor when the team makes the leap to MLS.   The hospital chain will also remain as the team’s primary healthcare provider and its doctors and medical personnel will remain in charge of the medical care for players on Orlando City SC.  Per its official website, Orlando Health is one of Florida’s most comprehensive private, not-for-profit healthcare networks, and is based in Orlando, FL and it comprises almost 2000 beds over 8 facilities.  All of this comes the day before the BIG day, where Orlando City will officially be named the next expansion team in MLS.  The early evening announcement will provide a carnival atmosphere.  We will cover that tomorrow.

However, there was some other Florida expansion news on Monday.  It is no secret that David Beckham has been exploring the Miami market for his possible MLS franchise.  As MLS fans well know, the Miami Fusion entered the League as an expansion team in 1998 and were contracted just four years later.  That background, combined with South Florida’s rather weak history of supporting its teams (Florida Marlins anyone?), has lead many to scoff at any move back to the Miami area.  Add in the lack of a Soccer Specific Stadium (the team would share with the FIU Football team) and the idea once seemed dead in the water.  Yet on Monday there were reports that LeBron James is considering partnering with Beckham on a Miami franchise.  James already owns an interest in a rather famous soccer team, and he certainly brings significant name cache.