Miami-Dade pushing Beckham MLS team to FIU home

Proposed Miami MLS Stadium

Though Miami-Dade County didn’t want to play ball with a David Beckham MLS team on a waterfront site, commissioners still want to say where the team will play and is pushing a temporary FIU home. But there’s literally no indication the Beckham investors will follow suit.

Today Miami-Dade County Commissioners unanimously approved on a resolution directing the city and Mayor Carlos Gimenez to negotiate with the Beckham investors on a FIU Stadium lease. The logic: the expansion MLS team will need a place to play while a new stadium is built, and the Florida International University campus makes more sense for a team than does, say, Sun Life Stadium.

But Miami-Dade County Commissioners have a tendency to force the team into questionable situations; at one point they tried to force the team and MLS to a cramped stadium site next to Marlins Park, on the old Orange Bowl site — a location immediately rejected by MLS and the Beckham group. This proposal for an FIU lease may be appropriate down the road, but it’s silly to consider before a permanent stadium site is chosen: it makes little sense for MLS and the Beckham group to commit to FIU now. From Miami New Times:

“Anything that sends a message that we want them to be in Miami is a good step right now,” Commissioner Xavier Suarez tells New Times. “The FIU site is particularly desirable and sends that right message, I believe.”

Suarez says FIU would give the team a home base close to Miami’s higher population densities and wouldn’t have the cavernous feel of Sun Life Stadium, another potential temporary home.

“It would appeal to the Westchester community, and I think there’s potential for tapping a fan base there,” he says.

Perhaps. But for now, the unanimous vote is largely symbolic.

RELATED STORIES: Beckham: We’re close to MLS stadium decision; 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

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