A Miami MLS decision about whether David Beckham and investors build a new stadium next to Marlins Park could happen before the end of the year, according to MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
Beckham has been hinting that a Miami MLS decision could be forthcoming ever since he and his crew realized that Miami and Miami-Dade County wasn’t going to play ball on a downtown waterfront site. Really, Beckham and MLS are paying for the bad decision made about public funding of Marlins Park on the old Orange Bowl site: it was a bad deal for government, but pushing MLS to the site helps out the economics — and the optics — somewhat.
In any case, while Beckham has said a decision could come within weeks, Garber is more cautious and says a Miami MLS decision could come before the end of the year — which, considering we’re just past Labor Day, is indeed cautious. From ESPN FC:
“They are making a lot of progress,” he said at the Soccerex convention in Manchester. “David has been part of our world for six years. He is very smart, very focused, loves our country, loves our league and wants to own a team.
“He has had a lot of fits and starts in trying to build a stadium. You have got to have the right building. We have got to create that new story. David is making progress more so than ever before, a site at the former Orange Bowl and adjacent to where the Marlins [baseball team] play….
“It was really hard to fold a team in Miami and here we are talking about getting back there with a great guy like David Beckham as owner,” he said.
If new stadiums in Minnesota and Miami do happen — and most folks in the MLS world are optimistic about both — then you’d have a 24-team MLS lineup in 2018. Atlanta will join MLS in 2017, and Minnesota, Miami and Los Angeles FC are slated to join in 2018. Past that is anyone’s guess, though there’s plenty of demand for more than 24 teams at the moment.
RELATED STORIES: Beckham: Inching closer to Miami MLS deal; Beckham MLS group formally commits to Marlins Park site; Miami MLS stadium site focuses on Marlins Park area; Marlins Park back in play for Miami MLS stadium; Miami-Dade pushing Beckham MLS team to FIU home; 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