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FIFA To Move 100 Jobs To Miami As The City Becomes A Soccer Epicenter

FIFA is moving more than 100 jobs from its Swiss headquarters to a recently-opened office in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables, Florida, raising the city’s profile as a hub for international soccer.

FIFA opened a 60K SF Coral Gables office at 396 Alhambra Circle in August.

Soccer’s governing body is moving its entire legal department along with its audit, compliance and risk management teams from Zurich. The staff will head to a 60K SF office at 396 Alhambra Circle that opened its doors in August. 

The relocations will be complete by August 2024, according to an internal email reviewed by The Associated Press, which first reported the plans.

“This is in line with the global vision of an organization that has 211 member associations,” FIFA said in a statement to The AP, adding that its headquarters would remain in Zurich. 

The FIFA office in Miami is part of its effort to build its presence in South Florida ahead of the 2026 World Cup when Miami and 15 other cities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada will host games.   

Hard Rock Stadium, home of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins, is slated to host as many as five World Cup games. Miami is also bidding for the World Cup International Broadcast Center, Media Center and FanFest, the Miami Herald reported

Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president, is expected to relocate to Miami ahead of the event, a source told Bloomberg in June, and the office is slated to become FIFA’s U.S. base of operations after the tournament. 

The U.S. was also selected in June to host the expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup scheduled for 2025, but the host cities for the games have not yet been revealed. 

“Being physically closer to our colleagues at FIFA26 and FIFA Club World Cup 2025 in Miami and the U.S. will increase our collaboration,” a staff email attributed to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said, according to The AP.

FIFA’s expansion in Miami comes as soccer has seen a surge of attention in the city with the arrival of Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi, who joined Major League Soccer club Inter Miami in July. 

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Messi sent ticket prices for Inter Miami games soaring by as much as 1,000% and renewed a push from the club’s owners to begin construction on a new stadium called Miami Freedom Park

Inter Miami — owned by soccer legend David Beckham and Jorge Mas, the co-head of the Miami-based construction firm MasTec — spent years clearing regulatory hurdles with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County to clear the way for the construction of the stadium and a 600K SF retail village. The team received $75M in August from the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Ares Management to begin construction. 

FIFA isn’t the only international football organization to put down roots in the Magic City in recent years. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, relocated to Miami in 2018. 

The office at 161 Northwest Sixth St. is the home base for more than 50 employees of CONCACAF, the organizing body for 41 national soccer associations across North America. 

The organization and the governing body for South American soccer are co-organizers of the 2024 Copa América. Miami is expected to be a host city for the tournament, which will be held across the U.S. next summer.