Why is Inter Miami called The Herons & Vice City? MLS franchise's nicknames explained

Inter Miami Away 2022-23 kitadidas

Inter Miami are one of the newer franchises to have been inducted in MLS, with their first playing season having taken place just three years ago in 2020.

Although the past few seasons have not been kind to them in terms of results on the pitch, one cannot deny the fact that former Man Utd legend David Beckham's co-owned side is attracting a lot of attention in the soccer world, especially following the club'sblockbuster capture of seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi recently.

Formally named Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, or IMCF for short, the team are known as The Herons and Vice City, but why are they called that and where do the nicknames come from? GOAL brings you everything you need to know.

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Why are Inter Miami called 'The Herons'?

Inter Miami DRV PNK StadiumGetty

Inter Miami are called 'The Herons' because of the two Great White Heron birds on their crest, with interlocking legs forming an "M" shape.

The Heron is a large, wading bird species that resides permanently in South Florida across the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region.

It's also a symbol of the team's ambition as it symbolizes power, protection, and patience in mythologies all over the world, and is often seen as a symbol of success.

The Heron was chosen as the team's mascot in 2018, and the nickname has been embraced by Inter Miami fans, as it reflects the team's location, its culture, and its ambitious goals.

Why are Inter Miami called 'Vice City'?

Inter Miami's nickname 'Vice City' is actually a slang term often used to refer the city of Miami during the 1980s in general, and not just the city's recently-established soccer club.

Miami used to be the capital city of drug crime, and was a major cocaine trans-shipment point for South America around that time.

Since then, the expression Vice City has come to denote anything that originates or is linked with the city of Miami: usually liberal, illicit, and fast-paced, but also high-class, luxurious, and popular.

The moniker became a global sensation thanks to the Hollywood classic Scarface, the hit 80s TV show Miami Vice, and the extremely popular open-world action-adventure video game series Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which is known for its vibrant and colourful depiction of the city, as well as its over-the-top violence and crime.

The nickname is also a reference to the passionate fan base of Inter Miami, Vice City 1896, which is known for its hardcore, rowdy and vocal support section. Inter Miami's color scheme paints the perfect picture of Miami from their fanbase’ perspective.

The contrasting bright pink and jet black reflect the two sides of Miami — the lively, non-stop party everyone is used to seeing, and the darker, grittier picture that the group calls the city’s “B” side, referring to the immoral aspects of the city, particularly during 1980s.