Miami will make a return to the Volvo Ocean Race by hosting the start of the transatlantic leg to Lisbon for the 2011-12 edition of the event.
In the formal bidding process, introduced by race organisers for the first time, Miami fought off tough competition from a number of North American rivals in its quest to win back the stopover previously staged in 2001-02.
The fleet will arrive in Miami after their charge north from the Brazilian port of Itajaí which was confirmed yesterday.
Florida has a long association with the Whitbread/Volvo - this will be the fifth time the sunshine state has welcomed the world's premier offshore race. Besides Miami, Fort Lauderdale played host in 1989-90, 1993-94 and 1997-98.
At the official announcement today, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad, said: "We are very confident Miami will deliver a first-class event for us in the spring of 2012 and the people of Florida will welcome us to their shores once again."
The race village will be located at Bicentennial Park, on the Biscayne Bay, in the heart of downtown Miami. It is a 29-acre, open park which is suited for major events where the likes of Cirque Du Soleil has pitched its tent in the past.
"The Volvo Ocean Race is by far the world's premier global race. It's a great honour to have Miami selected as a featured stopover," said commission chairman Marc Sarnoff.
City of Miami Mayor Thomas Regalado commented, "The city will be welcoming the race. For us, this is like the superbowl of sailing. 2012 will be the biggest and best year and Miami will feature on the global map."
Knut Frostad noted that the race had grown a great deal over the years. "I first heard about the race in 1973 when I was very small and there were a 100 people on the dock in Portsmouth. Last race, we had close to 4 million visitors throughout the event.
"It's a very special day here for me to announce Miami as the successful North American stopover port," he added. "I was here in 2001-2002 and it looks very different today.
"This waterfront looks to be one of the best locations around the planet and I'm sure Miami will give us a wonderful stopover."
The United States has figured prominently in the race's record books. American skippers Paul Cayard (EF Language, 1997-98) and John Kostecki (illbruck, 2001-02) have been race winners. Cayard was second again in 2005-06 on Pirates of the Caribbean while Ken Read took PUMA to the runners-up spot to Torben Grael's Ericsson 4 in the 2008-09 race.
In all, the US has fielded 10 entries in the race and 94 American sailors have been among the crew lists. Among them, America's Cup veteran Dennis Conner, was the co-skipper of Winston in 1993-94 and Toshiba in 1997-98.