Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami has said its stadium will become the first in the western hemisphere to serve as a permanent university campus after striking a partnership with the Global Institute of Sport (GIS).

The agreement will lead to the opening of GIS’ first North American campus at Inter Miami CF Stadium, starting in June 2021. The campus will offer sports business and management degrees for professionals in the industry led by GIS, the Master’s arm of the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) in the UK. 

“This is an exciting, innovative project with GIS that allows us to deepen South Florida’s position as a global leader in sports business and education, and to continue expanding our international network in the process,” said Inter Miami CF managing owner Jorge Mas. “Our facilities were built with flexibility in mind to serve as long-term economic drivers attracting more business, international competitions and tourism to our communities.”

The first program to be taught at GIS Inter Miami CF Stadium Campus will be the MSc Sports Directorship, an elite executive master’s degree program designed to equip sports professionals for the role of sporting director. Additional master’s degree programs at the campus, as well as study abroad opportunities for students in the US and UK, will be released at a later date. 

GIS has two more full-time campuses located in the English cities of London and Manchester, which are home to 2,500 students at Wembley Stadium and Etihad Stadium, respectively. The Institute has a network of global study hubs offering annual summits for students and alumni, including two in the US at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and one in Canada at BMO Field in Toronto.

GIS Inter Miami CF Stadium will host its first annual summit in the summer of 2021, offering students four to five days of tailored talks, workshops and exclusive networking opportunities. Students will also be able to take advantage of internship opportunities and guest speaker sessions thanks to the collaboration between GIS and Inter Miami.

“This is truly a landmark moment for GIS and education in North America,” said GIS chairman Brendan Flood. “Our students already enjoy great access to the North American sports market, but never have they had a permanent place to call ‘home’ and study away from the UK.”

Flood, who is also a director at Premier League club Burnley and co-founder of MLS side Orlando City SC, added: “You only have to look at the name of the Inter Miami franchise, its brand identity, the city it represents and the people that run the organisation to know that this is a partnership that will excite our students, football fans and those who aspire to work at its senior levels around the world.

“We believe that between us we’ll be able to offer students incredible knowledge shared from both sides of the Atlantic, bringing together learnings from the world’s most successful sports league – the Premier League – into the world’s leading sports nation.”

Inter Miami completed its 18,000-capacity, interim stadium and 50,000-square-foot training centre in March, ahead of the club’s inaugural season in MLS. Inter Miami CF Stadium will today (Wednesday) host its first external event, welcoming the US men’s national team in a friendly match against El Salvador.

Inter currently intends to play its first two seasons at the stadium. The club’s permanent home is intended to be Miami Freedom Park. The $1bn (£745m/€827m) project is currently in the planning stages and along with a 25,000-seat stadium, is earmarked to include one of the city’s largest public parks and a tech hub, among other components.