David Beckham says his investment group will make a decision shortly about a new Miami MLS stadium, as the league enters the home stretch in expansion decisions.
Beckham and his investors pitched Miami and Miami-Dade County officials on a new waterfront stadium near American Airlines Arena. But elected officials rejected those proposals, with city officials steering the Beckham investors to an alternative site near Marlins Stadium in Little Havana.
That standstill caused MLS Commissioner Don Garber to warn that Miami was not a lock to land an MLS expansion — certain hailed as good news in Sacramento, Minneapolis and Las Vegas, less so in Miami, which certainly should be a flagship market for MLS given the city’s demographics.
So work has proceeded on a new stadium, albeit very quietly. Beckham now says a decision on a new Miami MLS stadium is imminent:
“We’re pretty close to announcing certain things and then the stadium will come after that,” he said. “You can’t build a stadium overnight, so finding the right site, finding the right place in Miami is important for us. But it will all start coming together pretty quickly and everything will start happening pretty soon. I’m really excited about that. Being an ex soccer player to have my own team, I’m excited about that.”
If Beckham and his investors do indeed land a desired stadium site, it would be quite the feat, given the opposition of both Miami and Miami-Dade County officials to work with the group on a desirable downtown stadium site. Right now the plan is to use FIU Stadium as a temporary home stadium for MLS; on Tuesday the Miami-Dade Commission will consider Resolution 11A29, which will allow negotiations to begin with Beckham and investors on an FIU Stadium lease.
Meanwhile, there’s some level of talk about using Sun Life Stadium as perhaps a temporary home for pro soccer. It’s not an ideal situation — sharing a stadium as a tenant doesn’t make a ton of sense for the MLS business model –but it could help launch the team, in any case.
RELATED STORIES: Garber: Miami no longer lock for MLS franchise; Another prominent Miami politician pushes MLS stadium next to Marlins Park; MLS rejects Little Havana stadium site; Beckham looking at LA?; Beckham MLS bid now seeking Plan C stadium solution; Miami rejects boat-slip site for new Beckham MLS stadium; Miami-Dade: No new MLS stadium for Beckham at port site