Don Garber: 24th MLS Team is Not Finalized

Overtown MLS stadium

According to MLS commissioner Don Garber, no decision has been made on the league’s 24th team, leaving some questions about Miami’s expansion bid. 

Despite its high-profile backing, the effort to bring the MLS to Miami has repeatedly stalled. David Beckham is part of a group that is trying to bring the MLS to the city, with several sites discussed over the last few years until the group settled on a location in the Overtown neighborhood late in 2015. There have been some issues with that location, however, as Beckham and his group try to complete property acquisition while addressing concerns about whether Overtown’s infrastructure–mainly its available parking–can support the stadium.

It is known that the MLS wants to get into the Miami market, with 2018 discussed as a possibility for when the city would join the league. Under the current expansion timeline, the MLS will add Minnesota and Atlanta next year, with Los Angeles FC and a 24th team coming in 2018. Miami has been viewed as a strong contender, but recent comments from Garber indicate that nothing is final. More from Yahoo:

“I go to sleep at night continually thinking that we should not make the mistakes of the NASL or other leagues who have expanded too quickly, so it would be a shame to take our eye off of that ball,” Garber told reporters at Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final. “But I don’t think we’re at that point yet. As you know, it’s 28 teams for us. We’re a long way from 28, still haven’t finalized our 24th team. So that gives us five more teams to fill over the next however many years.”

That note, with MLS yet to finalize its 24th team, speaks to the troubles the league has had finding a suitable site for a Miami team, a franchise that was announced in 2014 but is yet to progress to the on-field stage.

Miami will have to gather momentum quickly to have a new stadium by 2018. Of course the option to play at a temporary facility could be on the table, especially if the MLS’ desire to join the city is as strong believed. However, many questions about Miami remain unresolved, which is probably why Garber is not committing one way or the other.

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