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Travel to the bowels of the Florida Blue Training Center: a top-of-the-range campus and "the best temporary stadium in the world" at the service of Messi


Highlights: Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami play in a galaxy of this paradise facing the Atlantic. Chase Stadium and its surroundings not only beat, but have a tachycardia since they became the home of the best soccer player in the world. Inter Miami debuts against Real Salt Lake City at the start of the 2024 campaign of the increasingly sought-after MLS. The club and a group of English journalists who came to experience the first performance of 2024 up close agree with their heads that the place has nothing to envy of the facilities in Europe.

Clarín toured the home of the Florida club that has the best in the world. From Fort Lauderdale to Chase Stadium, this is how you experience the preview of a new MLS season, a league that does not stop growing.

Thirty minutes, without too much traffic, separate Fort Lauderdale beach from Chase Stadium, the old new home of Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami.

Along A1A, a waterfront full of palm trees, cars, many high-end, circulate incessantly while people of all ages walk, jog and run along the pedestrian path.

On the beach you don't see any number 10 shirts from the Argentine National Team: just one from Inter Miami with the name Higuaín.

On the opposite side, with an enviable view of the sea, tower-shaped hotels, restos for breakfast, lunch and dinner and

businesses on Avenida 3 of Villa Gesell

with all types of products: from floats to conservatives are combined.

passing through muscular women and posters with inscriptions that walk that fine line that separates the funny, the ironic and the cancelable.

There are hours until Inter Miami debuts against Real Salt Lake City at the start of the 2024 campaign of the increasingly sought-after MLS, but

thirty minutes from the stadium almost no one knows that in a while Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez will get together again

to play soccer and score goals.

"I have no idea that Messi is playing

," responds Roberto, a 45-year-old Cuban who is walking hand in hand with his wife.


He came to disconnect from work. Not to watch soccer

," he continues.

The mate reveals a family of Argentinians sunbathing on Sebastian Beach.

They are from the North zone.

Did you come to see Messi?

"No, we came on vacation."

Are you going to try to go see him?

"They told us that there are no tickets, although they can be obtained at resale... Furthermore, there are a lot of us. And

on the way back we have to pay for the card

," replies Lisandro, the father of that albiceleste tribe that even includes two grandparents. .

Inside Inter Miami's Chase Stadium

The thermometer reads 22 degrees, but the intense blue sea water invites you to take a dip without the need for a wetsuit.

In case it was not clear:

it seems that Messi and his Inter Miami play in a galaxy of this paradise facing the Atlantic


However, the fever for football - and not soccer - increases as one deducts minutes from the distance from the field.

There are no choripán stalls


Nor manteros with trout merchandising.

Not even cloths.

But the machinery of this new football company does not stop.

It's not La Bombonera, but Chase Stadium and its surroundings not only beat, but have a tachycardia since they became the home of the best soccer player in the world.

A luxury house

The field and sports complex are next to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

Leo lands there with his private jet every time he returns from Argentina

or any other place on the planet.

He and his family live a few miles away in a gated neighborhood with its own beach north of the city.

It's as if he were a Nordelta, but "recontramegamuchomore" top.

But it is impossible to access the place if you are not the owner or guest.

The Inter Miami site is just a few minutes away by car and they spend part of the day there taking into account that Thiago, Mateo and Ciro are already part of the training academies - the lower divisions for us.

And the place, it is insisted, has nothing to envy of the facilities of the best clubs in Europe.

They say it from the club and a group of English journalists who came to experience the first performance of 2024 up close agree with their heads.

The Inter Miami sports complex.

The sports complex is a few meters from the stadium.

It is sponsored - it is called Florida Blue Training Center - and is divided into three essential parts.

It has six soccer fields.

Five are natural grass.

It is so neatly cut that it looks artificial.

The ball slides like a carpet


The other is made of synthetic and has, as color information, the shapes of a rugby field.

The professional team trains there, but the teams from the different categories of the franchise also practice, ranging from those under 12 years old to those of the

MLS Next, which are what in Argentina would be the old Reserve


They're not just soccer fields, of course.

Next to it stands a two-story building that is split in two.

There are some facilities for the academy and another, more exclusive for Messi and company.

The first has a gym and several changing rooms.

The second is top of the range.

There is another gym - which seems to be equipped by NASA - which is accompanied by a physiotherapy room, with stretchers and hot and cold water pools.

The routines diagrammed for each player are seen on a blackboard.

The Florida Blue Training Center gym. Photo: Inter Miami

There are two locker rooms and also a kind of microcinema that serves as a tactical meeting room, where videos can be projected and where the coaching staff headed by Gerardo Martino holds weekly talks.

And there is also a generous living room, all glazed, with a pool table, table tennis and games console, which is where the soccer players have breakfast and lunch.

There are no dormitories because here in the MLS no one concentrates when they play at home.

The last space at the Florida Blue Training Center is the offices.

There is Martino, of course, and his coaching staff, but there are also those from the different departments - marketing, fans, media, public relations, among others - that make the company work and be visible beyond what they make the company company operates as if it were a powerful multinational.

In fact, it already is.

First world wherever you look at it.

The best temporary stadium in the world

Gabriel Gabor, PR of the MLS, says it and it may sound exaggerated.

But he is not.

Chase Stadium, until the day before yesterday DVR PNK Stadium, is "

the best temporary stadium in the world"


And this Argentine who has been living in Miami for several decades is right: it is a luxury stadium.

And even more so if you take into account that it was built in just eight months and that in a few years it will no longer be used by Inter Miami's main team because it will move to Freedom Park, which will be next to the Miami International Airport.

The Inter Miami field of tubular structures. Photo: AFP

The field, made of tubular structures, has almost no concrete or cement support.

It has

a capacity for 21,500

seated spectators, which are divided into four stands.

But it is not simply about seats to watch football, it is an experience that goes much further.

It is known that

sport here in the United States is also a space to have a good time, eat and drink


And that's what you can do at the NorthWest Club, which overlooks one of the corners.

There is a restaurant from a well-known fast food chain - which is also Messi's sponsor - but there is also

a bar to drink Argentine wine


It is perhaps not the best place to watch football, but it is to have a good time.

Where football can be seen well is in the suites, which are flush with the playing field.

It is the place where the owners are, the famous people

- LeBron James and Serena Williams

watched Messi's debut from there - and the relatives of the team's stars.

That is "the place" of the stadium.

They have

space for 14 people, food service and cost about 15 thousand dollars


LeBron James films Messi with his cell phone from the "preferential stalls". Photo: AFP

There is a second floor, which also has a kind of food court, with a very good view that is worth 1,200 Washington dollars.

And a third, even better, that also has sold out seats.

Behind is the preferential stall that ranges from 160 to 670 dollars depending on how close you are to the central circle.

On the opposite side there is a stall that has lower values ​​because during the day the Florida sun hits hard.

And there are also the headliners, whose tickets cost 140 dollars.

Of course,

it looks good from all sides


And those who do not have access to the food services in the suites or the terrace can go to the food trucks that are at the exit.

A can of beer is 15 dollars


A can of wine costs the same.

For a dollar more you can have a drink based on vodka or tequila.

A soda costs 6 and a refillable glass costs 12. And what about eating?

A pretzel 5.75;

a bucket of popcorn 9.50.

And there is also more elaborate food such as Dominican empanadas or Mexican quesadillas.

The main course, however, is served on the playing field.

Seeing Messi on the field, although many here are not even aware of it, is priceless.

A food truck in the food space of the Inter Miami stadium. Photo: EFE

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2024-02-21

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