Wesley Edens, an owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and the co-owner of Fortress Investment Group — a New York investment group that’s a major player in Florida real estate and development — is in talks with David Beckham’s investment group to arrange Miami MLS stadium financing.
Edens is certainly familiar with sports-facilities financing: the Bucks ownership is spending $250 million-plus on a new downtown arena that’s projected to generate another half-billion in new real-estate investment. And Fortress Investment Group also put together the All Aboard Florida rail and real estate portfolio behind the Miami-to-Orlando train line. From the Miami Herald:
In a statement released Monday morning, Miami Beckham United confirmed talks only with Fortress executives. “Miami Beckham United has attracted significant investor interest following the purchase of two pieces of land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood,” the statement read. “The list of possible investors includes principals of Fortress Investment Group, the company behind the All Aboard Florida rail project and the Miami Central mixed-use development in downtown, just blocks from our stadium site.”
Two sources close to the talks said the discussions were only with Edens, and is not a Fortress negotiation. His share of the NBA Milwaukee franchise is not owned through Fortress….
An alliance with All Aboard Florida would give Beckham a massive commercial and parking complex for a $175 million stadium with no plans for its own garages. The lack of on-site parking has been a constant concern from elected leaders, while the Beckham group points to a nearby Metrorail station and the use of parking garages and lots in the surrounding area. The new Brightline rail also would link Miami with the closest MLS city, Orlando, and would reinforce the Beckham group’s effort to establish a cross-state rivalry for the new team.
Beckham and crew have repeatedly hit the wall in attempts to arrange Miami MLS stadium financing, and they are under the gun in terms of time. In an ideal world, design on the new Overtown stadium would be done and construction about to start on a facility to open in 2018. Beckham has an option to buy an MLS franchise at a discount thanks to his L.A. Galaxy contract, but he and his investment group are now racing the clock to make an Miami MLS team a reality.
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