The original Strikers were born in 1977, when the Miami Toros moved to Broward County. Donning their popular red-and-gold hooped uniforms, the team experienced instant success—so much so that Lockhart Stadium underwent two seating expansions to accommodate the club's rapidly growing fan base. During those years, a playoff game between the Strikers and New York Cosmos drew a crowd of 77,691, which still stands as the record for a U.S. Pro League soccer match and most people squished into a single soccer net.
Even with all their success, the Strikers relocated to Minnesota after the 1983 season. The team returned five years later, and for more than two decades, competed as part of several leagues. Finally, after a failed attempted to bring Major League Soccer to Miami, the Miami FC of the United Soccer League decided to officially adopt the Strikers moniker and move to the North American Soccer League for the 2011 season. The Strikers didn't waste any time announcing their rebirth, as they made the league's championship series that same season.
Marc Anthony's favorite football team takes to the field under the gridiron guidance of head coach Tony Sparano with the aim to better last season's 7–9 record and make it to the post-season. Ease yourself into one of the 75,540 seats at the solar-existence-affirming Sun Life Stadium, and cheer on the Fins as they look to defeat Detroit, clobber Cleveland, and bring Buffalo to the brink of tears through kicks, passes, and well-timed blowhole expulsions. Splash zones are restricted to the sweat bouncing off of Reshad Jones' forehead.
Baseball and softball players of all skill levels descend upon Extra Innings' 18,000-square-foot indoor facility to hone home-run-hitting swings and more. Players can swing, pitch, or field for 60 minutes inside one of the five indoor hitting tunnels that stretch 70 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 30 feet high as adjustable pitching machines sling unlimited fastballs toward the plate at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. The facility outfits hitters with bats and helmets for no additional charge, and each tunnel is equipped with an L-screen, a pitcher's mound, and sliding nets that can transform the cage into an open-field area for practicing fielding skills and ribbon-dancing routines.
County Line Dragway's track squeals in delight beneath all types of tires, inviting amateur and professional horsepower buffs to test the limits of their vehicles on a 1/8-mile stretch of pavement certified by the International Hot Rod Association. Engines and crowds roar in the schedule's myriad events as steely chariots strive to capture a record track time, one-up nemeses in grudge matches, or test performance in timed laps and odes to speed in iambic pentameter. Cheering groups bond over impressive shows of velocity, and the track’s open-minded atmosphere allows anyone to hit the ovular street with a minivan or amateur garage project and safely race against each other away from the obstacles and chatty stop signs of the open road. Tire type determines eligibility for each event, making for varied and colorful fields. Pros unleash speed demons upon unsuspecting cement during Big Dog Saturdays, in which finely engineered speedsters compete for track titles.
Cheer on the Hurricanes as they defend their home court from the hardwood harassment of evenly matched ACC conference mainstay North Carolina. Guards Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott lead the offensive attack while sophomore center Reggie Johnson controls the lane against UNC's sticky-heeled dribbles and drives. Tickets will be redeemed at the BankUnited Center in a specific area for Groupon subscribers before tipoff.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
A full service dive shop, Aquatic Ventures equips snorkelers and scuba divers with the gear, tanks, and instruction necessary to breathe underwater. Owner and dive instructor Gary Beiter has more than 40 years of teaching experience and draws upon that know-how during every lesson.
At Baby Otter Swim School, a team of nationally certified instructors demystifies the water for infants and adults alike, thwarting tragedy with techniques for lifelong safety. After raising their own children to fear neither pools nor natural bodies of water, owners Mindy and Marlene pioneered their flagship Turn, Kick, Reach program—a method that teaches children 10 months and older how to handle a spill into the water—as a tool for preventing drowning. For other classes, they follow a five-day model that demonstrates basic and advanced aquatic skills, such as mastering strokes or putting out fires with nothing more than a drinking straw, a glass of water, and elbow grease. Their curriculum has helped firefighter and police cadets, three-month-old babies, senior citizens, and celebrities. Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson grew so enamored of the program after it taught him to swim that he became the school's spokesperson and set out on a water-safety campaign featured in the Sun Sentinel. Gwyneth Paltrow has also praised the instructors for the "tremendous confidence" that her daughter, Apple, gained as a result of the training.
Bellator unleashes the intensity of world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) as eight warriors strive in no-holds-barred battles for the prize in the Bellator 50 middleweight quarterfinals. MMA fighters will kick, choke, punch, power-hug, and choke some more, splattering the canvas with human water balloons of sweat and blood. As seen on MTV2, Bellator packs its fight card with eight highly-ranked bruisers and contusion artisans, all dancing in a broken-bone ballet for the middleweight title. Saturday's show-card pits Vitor Vianna (11-1-1) against Sam Alvey (15-2-0) in a boisterous match of crippling wedgies. The circular cage of rage also sports Bryan Baker (15-2-0) extending an olive branch of internal hemorrhaging to Jared Hess (11-2-1), Alexander Shlemenko (40-7-0) and Zelg Galesic (10-5-0) feasting on knuckle sandwiches, and Brian Rogers (7-2-0) and Victor O'Donnell (10-2-0) achieving nirvana with cathartic mule kicks.
Gábor Pásztor has always loved sports, his passion and athleticism leading him to compete in international track-and-field meets on behalf of his home country, Hungary. Today, he brings his speed, endurance, and coordination skills to the United States to help a new generation of soccer and track-and-field stars hone their natural abilities at Citius Athletic Club Miami. At his club, he helms US Soccer Federation–registered soccer teams in competitive play against other local organizations. And he's serious about the sport: He holds practice with four different age groups of students—ranging ages 3–13—three times a week.
In addition to prepping youths for league play, he and his coaches lead fundamentals classes for beginning soccer players. The fundamentals classes cover the same skills and techniques as the competitive practices, but students aren't required to compete in games or maintain perfect pitch during the "National Anthem."
With state of the art 4G synthetic turf soccer fields spread across Miami, Soccer 5 has become a premier South Florida destination for soccer, football, and fútbol lovers alike. The program offers a variety of kids' camps, in which junior players up to 15 years old benefit from highly technical coaching, drills, and scrimmages. Adults can get in on the fun, too, with leagues and tournaments. The smaller fields allow for 5- and 7-a-side matches, which means players get more touches on the ball and opportunities to befriend the referee. Their fields are also available for rent for team practices, birthday parties, and private pickup games.
At Downtown Soccer Miami's two outdoor mini fields, players of all ages can practice and show off their skills with youth and adult leagues, training, pick-up games, and tournaments. The brightly lit, grassy pitches accommodate up to two matches at once, hosting after-work pick-up games. Corporate leagues help co-workers build cohesion and office-supply-punting skills.
A former professional boxer, Howard Davis, Jr. lays claim to some staggering accomplishments. He won the New York Golden Gloves while still an amateur, made it into the 1976 Olympics where he earned a gold medal and was awarded the Val Barker Trophy for all-around style, and worked as the striking coach for such iconic MMA fighters as Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and Thiago Silva. In 2010, he turned his love of the sport into a venue to promote young fighters by creating Fight Time Promotions. Anchored by a professional series that organizes five cards per year, Fight Time showcases some of Florida's most promising MMA and kickboxing talents. It also features an amateur division for young fighters, who work toward a professional career by perfecting hand-to-hand techniques that can impress in the cage.
The sound of little limbs cutting into clear water with increasing confidence fills Quality Swimming's facilities, where instructors keep class sizes small in order to give individual attention and encouragement to each student. All instructors bear Red Cross certifications in CPR, standard first aid, and general lifeguard skills, and some hold additional honors such as degrees in infant teaching from the United States Swim School or certifications in instruction for developmentally disabled students. The trainers also undergo extensive training in Quality Swimming's in-house program, which includes observational sessions, seminars, and shadowing with senior teachers. Despite this intensive program, they continue to hone their skills year-round with local and national workshops, regular in-house refresher training, and international Marco Polo tournaments.
Students of all experience levels slowly grow to revel in the dreamlike effortlessness of movement through water in outdoor pools at three locations. Instructors pass on basic water-safety skills and more advanced swimming techniques, always with the principal aim of teaching students to exist comfortably within water and respect the pool noodle's natural ecosystem.
Safe, springy, and super-exciting: kids and adults can agree on that description of Off The Wall Trampoline Fun Center's 11,000 square feet of trampoline space, where every surface (walls included) is either bouncy or softly padded. Besides hopping around like kangaroos on a moon mission, visitors can play low-gravity versions of dodgeball, volleyball, or an all-dunks take on basketball. The trampolines also add an extra thrill to the aerobic workouts during Off The Wall's fitness classes.
Off The Wall's remaining 25,500 square feet contain other exciting indoor attractions as well, including a rock wall and and arcade full of new and old-school games with a variety of prizes available. A restaurant with a java bar is also available for guests looking for something to eat or drink. Inside a two-level laser tag arena, players defend earth from invading alien robots during pitched battles beneath strobe lights. A special jump area has also been set aside for younger kids, along with a toddler playground designed for kids 6 and under. To reenergize after a long day of play, the whole family can reconvene at Off The Wall's café for Angus burgers or slices of New York-style pizza.