MLS, Beckham Still Confident in Miami

Overtown MLS stadium

Despite the project’s ups and downs over the last two-and-a-half years, David Beckham and the MLS are expressing hope that a stadium deal in Miami will be completed.

Feburary 5, 2017 will mark the three year anniversary of when Beckham formed a group to bring an MLS expansion franchise to Miami. Ever since, the proposal has been mired in problems–the group’s initially proposed locations were met with tepid reaction from local officials, and funding gaps remain in a plan to build a stadium in Overtown.

For the most part, news concerning an MLS stadium in Miami has been quiet in recent months. Miami Beckham United was pursuing an investment from Wes Edens, an owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, to resolve some funding gaps. However, nothing has come from that report since it was first revealed in June.

The MLS is set to add Los Angeles in 2018, and it has been believed that Miami could be part of that round of expansion. Delays to the stadium project have raised doubts about that timeline, but Miami Beckham United is trying to resolve some of its ongoing complications. More from The Telegraph:

The Telegraph understands that the Beckham group is in advanced talks with three or four potential investors and will only commit to purchasing the final piece of land in Overtown until it has a deal with an equity partner and all the money in place to build a stadium.

It is hoped a deal for both the land and the equity partner will be announced early next year.

The total cost for the land and stadium will be around $300 million, a significant sum for a  purely privately-financed initiative, something particularly welcome in Miami.

It is also possible, The Telegraph has learned, that the Beckham team could play in a temporary stadium for a year once their own stadium is being built. Preliminary discussions have already taken place with some local venues, including, it is understood, Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.

Having a new stadium ready at the same time as Los Angeles is becoming all but impossible at this point, so a temporary venue–along with a concrete plan for a new stadium–is essential to Miami. Whether any of the other MLS expansion contenders could swoop in and secure an entry before Miami remains to be seen, but Beckham and his group still have to address these issues before the MLS makes a firm commitment.

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