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Got a Stadium, You Wanna Play for Free?

Taking a quick break from the TT Q & A for some tidbits regarding FIU athletics of late. Don't worry FIU baseball fans the Q & A will resume on the next blog.

You may have already read in the Herald earlier this week that at the Miami Sports Commission meeting on Tuesday, PG offered free rent of the new FIU Stadium to a possible MLS soccer Miami expansion team when the league decides to add another franchise. This would be opposing the $120 million soccer stadium the City of Miami is planning on building next to the new Marlins stadium on the Orange Bowl site. Here is the story: FIU OB soccer. The story could have used a better headline, but don't get me started on that.

Mono_3 Soc Speaking to a friend, who is also a friend of one of the politicians at that meeting, apparently the majority of the politicians in attendance thought PG presented a great idea and a way to save taxpayer money. It was also a pretty shrewd move that would eventually benefit FIU down the road. Sort of like a soccer monopoly.

Here's how: all those soccer matches the OB hosts year-round between countries that pack the OB would come to FIU, plus the Gold Cup and quite possibly even the MLS Combine all of which would bring some $$ to FIU and worldwide exposure to the state-of-the-art stadium currently under construction. And of course, it would save you and me some money as well if we don't have to shell out $120 million clams for a soccer stadium in a city which has had several pro soccer teams that have eventually folded anyway. Unfortunately, the only kind of soccer South Florida is interested in is when country X plays country Y. Down here, pro soccer teams have never had any kind of support. But you put two countries going at it on the pitch and people come out to see that. Ole!, Ole!, Ole!

Enough on the futbol, let's go over to the football and X's Last FIU Stand.Hot_3

If you saw the Herald today, then you know Xavier Shannon is off to Coral Gables to play for his old man. XS already got his undergrad degree in sports management and will apply to the NCAA for a waiver to play for the canes. Here's the link to the story: XS's Last FIU Stand .

Like I've said a zillion times before....It doesn't mean anything until they sign on the dotted line, BUT been hearing from the central Florida high school folks that MC and co. may have landed a pretty good pair in Line recruiting the last few days. Need to make a few more calls to verify, but apparently the Volusia County Defensive Player of the Year Kasey Smith and Troy Dannehower, one of the top quarterbacks in the central Florida area have orally committed to FIU. Couple that with defensive lineman James Jones withdrawing his commit from USF and choosing FIU and it sounds like a good week for FIU football. When there's more info I will post it on here.

We wouldn't let this blog end without some FIU baseball right? LSU AD and 5-time national champion college baseball coach Skip Bertman will speak at the FIU Baseball Dinner on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Graham Center. I believe you can get tickets by calling 305-348-1919. And there might be a Mike Lowell Day at FIU during the opening series against USC pending the World Series MVP's availability because Red Sox spring training begins at about the same time in Fort Myers.Low_3

PANTHER PAWSE

FI-UM Fan: You can get the Panther Pass webcasts at fiusports.com.

fiufan751: TT is excited about the upcoming season and in turning FIU into a baseball power. Yeah, I think FIU can finish better than 9th in the Sun Belt. With better pitching this team can be in the Sun Belt's top 5. Just in the coaching staff change alone, FIU probably picked up an additional 4 to 5 wins this season.

SouthPaw: You can forget about Taylor Beasley, he was not offered a scholarship when FIU went from DS to MC. Bryan Mann is at Hinds CC in Mississippi and unless he made a drastic change in his academics he may never play Division I football except maybe on Madden. Mann is not expected at FIU.

paradox: TT will handle pitching changes and as they prepare for the season opener, TT is thinking of using two guys to close: lefty Evan Ellison and righty Akeem Francis.

CJ: The FIU football recruiting story runs in the Herald on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and then I'll have a signing day story on Feb. 6.

FIUPantherFan: Will get your press break question answered after Saturday's hoops home game against ULM.

Danny Denis: Welcome to the GPP. I sent e-mails and left phone messages to Odebrecht about your question concerning phone lines for credit card use at the concessions of the new stadium. Will post on here when I get an answer.

yippee: Thanks.

Part 3 of TT's Q & A continues on the next blog.

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pete thanks on the update for the recruiting articles coming up... ill be looking foward to it.. also great find on the 2 from Central fla area. of course nothing till the dotted line but still nice to hear

Thanks for all the info, Pete...as usual. Pretty interesting when/if you can confirm those two possible commitments...It would raise the "known" number to 13 then...

About the MLS playing at FIU for free... genius. Freakin' genius. Abso-freaking-ultely genius. What a GREAT idea! Whoever came up with it deserves a tremendous pat on the back.

Senor Pelegrin has already said why it's great, and I have nothing more to add there... except to mention that the myriad of pro soccer teams that have failed in South Florida is primarily because most of them didn't actually play in Dade County. It's hard to attract the typical soccer fan in Miami - who probably lives in Dade - to a game at Lockhart. FIU is a good location for almost anyone in Dade County to reach.

It'll kind of suck to give up free rent for however many home games the Miami MLS team has, but it will probably lead to international friendlies at the new place, as Pete said, and FIU will make a killing there. Oh, and the community goodwill will certainly be nice. Saving $120 million (or not spending it, really) is not a bad way to get free pub. But then again, this IS Miami... and if someone powerful will make a killing by building this soccer facility at the OB, then it probably gets built. I give FIU credit for trying, though. Hopefully it works.

So Shannon's gone... oh, well. Best of luck to the guy.

Best of luck to the basketball teams, too... they gotta start playing better than this. Both of them.

Thanks for the heads up on the Mike Lowell Day. I think he deserves the recognition. So, does this mean he will be there? I hope so. I'd love to see him again. I miss him in a Marlins uniform.

Another committment this time in FIU baseball. Pace right-handed pitcher Andre Vazquez, who will be the Spartans No. 1 pitcher this season, gave TT a verbal committment on Friday and will sign in April. Spoke with Pace coach Tom Duffin a few minutes ago and he said Pace had a ceremony for Vazquez's committment today.

Vazquez caught TT's eye in a fall league game where the 6-2 righty struck out six straight Florida Christian batters. FC is one of the baseball powers in Dade high schools and a couple of the batters that Vazquez struck out are headed to Coral Gables for college.

Vazquez also plays 3rd base.

Miri: As of now, nothing has been set up yet with Mike Lowell to be at the USC series. The plan is to have Mike Lowell Day, but it all depends on his spring training schedule with the Red Sox.

Wow, I could just imagine The Cage being full when Beckham is in town!!! You gotta give it up to Pete Garcia for coming up with the idea.

Pete, thanks for the recruiting news. Please keep us informed as much as possible.

Like always, great job.

GO FIU!!!

Maybe FIU should redo the baseball stadium and rented for free to the Marlins, That way it will save money to the Miami residents and will give the Marlins a home in a better location and far away from Huzenga. Even if the rent is free FIU can make a killing on concessions and parking. I tell you the majority of South Americans in Kendall and the Islanders in South Ridge, and North West better access and parking than Lockheart stadium.
If PG can pull this one, I think the guy deserves a building or in the future the stadium named after him.
I can't wait to see all the good recruits playing next year. is the football schedule for 08 out yet? I need to start planning my vacations for this fall.

Dude... the Marlins at FIU? No way, dude. That ain't gonna fly.

First off, there's NO incentive for FIU to add more seats to their baseball stadium. They have a hard enough time drawing 500 people to games. Let's get that place filled consistently for FIU before anyone talks about Marlins. I know some of the Fish's crowds could've fit at FIU last season, but 2,000-seat stadiums isn't exactly what MLB wants, y'know.

Second... as successful as FIU baseball can be, I doubt very much it can get to the point where they can draw more than 4 or 5 thousand a game. Especially anytime soon. The 'Canes draw about that much and they're a perennial college baseball power. Frankly, FIU would look ridiculous playing in a 20 or 30-thousand seat stadium with only 4 or 5 thousand people. I'm all for big stadiums, but a small, packed stadium with atmosphere is much better than a big, mostly empty facility.

Third... how you gonna add seats to that baseball stadium? You can't add many outfield seats of any kind, what with the soccer field on one side and the preserve on the other. Down the line seats probably means they'd have to move the bullpens. And I doubt you can even add more seats to that place in general without blowing it apart because I don't think there's any kind of expansion plan for it. I could be wrong there, but I've never heard of one, and I think I would have by now.

Oh... and both the Marlins and FIU's seasons overlap, so you got that to worry about, too.

And on top of all that... do you seriously see MLB putting a franchise inside the home of a college baseball team? ANY college baseball team? MLS and MLB are two different monsters. MLS is at a stage where associating with a college football stadium won't be humiliating for them, especially in such a big market. MLB is on a totally different playing field.

Remember, too, that MLS is angling for stadiums that are very similiar to what FIU is building for their football team. In there, you've got two organizations with similiar desires that can collaborate and make a good pairing. That doesn't exist for MLB and FIU now. And if it ever does, then Pete Garcia ought to have a bronze bust in front of that stadium for all eternity, because then FIU has truly arrived.

With that said... I'd prefer a location like FIU for the Fish over the OB site. Or downtown.

The Miami Fusion team was a failure because they played at Lockart Stadium across the county border. While I do agree with your assertion that people here typically only care for Colombia vs Mexico games, I'm very confident that a MLS team here can do well if indeed they play in the city they are named after! After all, the Miami Fusion have averaged about 1500 fans, not bad for a mediocre team in a mediocre league playing in an embarassing stadium (Tropical Park).

If it does happen though, how cool would it be if they name the team the Miami Panthers? or the Miami Sunblazers ;)

Correction, I was referring to the Miami FC, of the USL league.

ya marlins at FIU wouldnt fly i love the enthusiasim but no.... they've earned their own field w/ 2 WC.

earth to panthers...i love dreamin big as much as the next guy, but let's stop fueling the dream of MLB at FIU. As MB pointed out, MLB and MLS are apples and oranges. Let's get MLS in here and stay focused on what's feasible.

Marlins at FIU would rock!!! wont happen but great idea. How nice would it be to hit the batting cages off 117, play some flag football in tamiami, and end the day with a few brews watching the marlins all in the same park.

I love all the attention and plans for sporting events at FIU. One question however, where is everyone going to park?

Pete,

With Garcia offering the stadium for free, have you heard any rumblings from faculty or students that are potentially opposed to the idea of hosting a non-scholastic FIU event on campus considering the potential congestion, or is everyone overwhelmingly in favor of it?

Well I guess in paper the Marlins at FIU wont make sense, however if they can schedule double headers FIU first and then the Marlins, maybe the stadium could be full, and I am talking about the current stadium.
Don't take me wrong I am a Marlin's fan and I go to DC everytime they play there, and I watch most of their games on the baseball pass. and it is sad to see them play in front of 200 people every night at Joe Robbie stadium.
In a different subject, FIRE SERGIO!!!! the man can't motivate or lead his players, and I don't think he has the right staff to teach the players the basic of basketball.
The way he talks and the team plays is like a pickup game at Tropical Park. There is no consistency and thay says a lot about the lack of a system, play book and been able to utilize the players to their potential.
I think PG should do what he did for the football team and hire a young assitant coach with lots os fire and potential from an stablished program. I remember when I was in Gainesville and Billy Donovan came over. He was ready to build a strong program and he did it, and maybe that is why he might never leave UF because that program is his baby and in Gville he can eat and drink for free everyhere.

I dont think an MLS team in Miami is a good idea at all. I dont think the Marlins should stay as it is. I dont understand what's wrong with the people that run this city. Do they like to think up bad ideas? It is apparent that they can't do anything right. Everything is a mess in this city ranging from the Performing Arts Center to the redevelopment of downtown. Or should I say the massive building of condos for the rich while the not so rich blacks in Overtown still dont have adequate housing. I also forgot that many of those condos for the rich dont have any tenants because there are not enough bodies to fill them or to cover up the greed of developers.

The point is let FIU host this imaginary MLS team because the city of Miami will screw it up.

Yesterday's basketball game was embarrassing. We should have never lost to that team for being "overconfident". Personally, I blame this on the coach.

GO FIU!!!

NYCFIUFan,

Talking about the congestion, I can tell you it sucks. With the lack of parking that was at the stadium when there were high school football games people would park in housing parking and there would be NO parking at all for anyone. Yes there is some parking in Tamiami but I think that if they do that they should not have an opened entrance from the FIU campus and everyone would have to enter through an entrance from Coral Way. To keep the congestion to a minimum. :)

Great point FIUJM. If to lose a game to a winless team (they had not won a conference game prior to last night) was bad, for the coach to say they were "overconfident" is truly embarrassing. The whole coaching staff is a joke. Not once has this staff blamed themselves for the sad state of the basketball team. I'm tired of comments like, "They wanted it more than us", "We didn't have it at the end", "If we're going to get killed what better than getting killed by a friend". When are these coaches going to start taking responsability for the losses?. I think changes might be needed.

Are they still doing the Youth Fair at Tamiami, I don't think parking and trafic can be any worst than that. And maybe they could built a new garage on campus, after all FIU is still a commuter school and there is more need for parking than for dorms.
FIRE SERGIO!!!

hey some news on recruiting... stated that safety outta tampa chaze grace has committed to FIU... and there is unconfirmed about dariett Perry (RB) outta GA. committing to FIU as well.. that would be huge! again nothing official to feb 6... (my bday) but still great new to hear on the FIU front

hey some news on recruiting... stated that safety outta tampa chaze grace has committed to FIU... and there is unconfirmed about dariett Perry (RB) outta GA. committing to FIU as well.. that would be huge! again nothing official to feb 6... (my bday) but still great new to hear on the FIU front

sorry Chuck Grace... im horrible w/ names lol

Hey Pete, any chance that Lionel Singleton will be invited to the NFL combines? Let us know.

GO FIU!!!

Last year FIU had NFL scouts attend campus for players workouts. I wonder if they will do the same this year.

Lionell Singleton might be a good punt returner/kick returner in the NFL(if given the chance). I'll take him over Ted Ginn(needs a compass...only ran out of bounds) as a returner.

GO FIU!!!

I'll take Chandler Williams doing punt and kick returns...He's on the PSquad.

GO PANTHERS!

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