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2023: A Monumental Year in South Florida Construction and Sports - A Year in Review

Miami Skyline

2023 brought extreme weather, expanding gaming, massive development projects, and unprecedented sports success to South Florida. Here are some headline-making events:

Construction Craneland

Construction reached new heights, literally, as several towering mixed-used complexes broke ground. Massive buildouts are transforming neighborhoods from Flagler Village and downtown Fort Lauderdale to long-overlooked Oakland Park and Pompano Beach. Westward, Boca Raton continues evolving its downtown landscape with high-end apartments. And Broward County started work on a cutting-edge new Federal Courthouse.

Brightline Connects Major Cities

Brightline finalizes expansion to Orlando


The Brightline higher-speed passenger rail finally expanded into Central Florida this year. Now residents and visitors can travel car-free between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and right into the heart of Orlando. This transportation milestone will shape regional connectivity and growth for decades.

Gambling Goldmine

As gambling restrictions eased up statewide, South Florida Seminole Tribe casinos added craps, roulette, and sports betting to their gaming floors this year. With Las Vegas-style games now authorized, resort casinos are poised to attract even more tourism and entertainment dollars.

Wildest Weather Ever

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was closed for days after intense flooding in April. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

From rapid flooding that submerged FLL airport to summer heat waves shattering temperature records, South Florida weather went wild in 2023. And while we again dodged hurricane disaster, April deluges exposed infrastructure failings. Climate change fingerprints were all over this year’s unprecedented extremes.

Underdog Sports Cinderellas

Our universities scored huge upsets as both FAU and UM men’s basketball teams sailed into the Final Four. The Panthers hockey squad battled into the Stanley Cup finals as a #8 seed. And the Miami Heat fought into championship contention after nearly missing the playoffs. South Florida sports underdogs shined bright all year long!

Lionel Messi Fuels Inter Miami’s Trophy Case

Lionel Messi is presented as the newest player for Inter Miami CF by owners Jorge Mas, left, Jose Mas and David Beckham at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

Global soccer icon Lionel Messi signed with Fort Lauderdale’s Inter Miami CF club, sparking championship dreams. Alongside the legendary Argentine forward, Inter Miami captured the inaugural Leagues Cup championship this summer.

2023 will go down in history for its extremes in buildings, betting, weather and playoff showdowns. We withstand hurricanes almost every year, but will anything top the drama seen across South Florida in the last 12 months? Tell us what made 2023 a remarkable year in South Florida.


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