Tim Leiweke: Don’t Count Out Miami

Overtown MLS stadium

The chances of Miami obtaining an MLS franchise in the coming years cannot be discounted, according to executive Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke has been involved in the effort to bring the MLS to Miami, which was started by David Beckham and Miami Beckham United in February 2014. Ever since, the proposal has been plagued by numerous problems, including issues relating to the stadium site and financing.

Despite those setbacks, Beckham and MLS commissioner Don Garber both said recently that they are confident that an agreement for Miami to land an expansion franchise will be completed. This comes as Beckham and his group try to finalize plans for a new stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.

In recent comments, Leiweke echoed the sentiments of Garber and Beckham. More from the Toronto Sun:

“Commissioner Don Garber has done a great job of putting his head down and never giving up,” Leiweke updated the Toronto Sun this week. “Don’t ever count David Beckham out. Big mistake. If we are a league that’s going to make it — all of the North American leagues are in south Florida — we have to be in Miami. That’s one of the top five or 10 markets.

“If we can’t make it there, then Major League Soccer has to question its viability. It’s a market that rivals Los Angeles. We can’t fail there.”

It has long been anticipated that Miami and Los Angeles FC would simultaneously join the MLS as part of the round of expansion in 2018. Los Angeles has already begun development of a stadium and adjacent development, with construction of at least the stadium scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2018 MLS season.

Given how long the process in Miami has taken, organizers are starting to consider options for a temporary stadium if a new facility is not ready by the 2018 season. The Telegraph recently reported that the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium is among those options.

This article first appeared in the weekly Soccer Stadium Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber?Sign up here for your free subscription!

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