David Beckham and his investment group say they are not seeking to place an MLS expansion team in Las Vegas, refuting an earlier report.
Beckham has been behind the push to bring the MLS to Miami, an effort that has hit some roadblocks. He and his group, Miami Beckham United , have been seeking additional investors to secure a stadium deal in Miami’s Overtown neigborhood, but thus far it has not yielded a solution that allows the proposal to move forward.
Right now, time is of the essence for Miami, which has long been expected to join the MLS as an expansion team in 2018. MLS commissioner Don Garber has expressed his desire for progress on the proposal, stating that he wants to see a solution on the issue sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, a report surfaced that Beckham could scratch his effort in Miami and shift it to Las Vegas, where an MLS franchise would play out of a stadium that is being proposed for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. However, a spokesman representing Beckham’s group denied the report. More from The Mercury News:
Late Sunday night, Las Vegas blogger Joe Arrigo said he’s “been told that David Beckham is focusing on owning an MLS expansion team in Las Vegas and no longer in Miami.”
Late in the day Monday, however, spokesman Tadd Schwartz of Miami Beckham United threw cold water on that speculation.
“Our partners are 100 percent committed to Miami,”Schwarz said in a statement. “And we will continue working with Commissioner Garber and the league as we finalize the launch of our world-class soccer club. We’re making progress, and we appreciate the strong support of our fans as our launch draws closer.”
Las Vegas has been mentioned as a possible MLS expansion candidate in the past, but the proposal to build the stadium and lure the Raiders is not finalized. While $750 million in public funds are on the table for the project, the Raiders still have to seek approval from NFL owners and finalize an agreement relating to a partnership with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Additionally, Oakland is making its own push to keep the team.
That said, it is still clear that something needs to happen in Miami sooner rather than later. While Las Vegas may not be the solution Beckham and the MLS are seeking, both sides have a clear incentive to push the effort in Miami to its fruition or to start developing alternative plans.
RELATED STORIES: Don Garber Discusses Deadline on Miami; Investors Pitched on David Beckham’s Miami Plan; Tim Leiweke: Don’t Count Out Miami; MLS, Beckham Still Confident in Miami; Don Garber: 24th MLS Team is Not Finalized; Wes Edens Backing Miami MLS Stadium Financing; Beckham Miami MLS Stadium Plan Popular With Public; Still No County Land Agreement; Beckham, Miami-Dade Differ on Terms for New Miami MLS Stadium Land; Beckham Group Closes on Miami Stadium Land; Beckham looking for partners in MLS Miami; Beckham group now looks to Overtown MLS site; David Beckham dropping Little Havana stadium site: reports;Leiweke: Miami MLS stadium deal in trouble; Miami MLS stadium plan developing; Tim Leiweke joins Beckham MLS effort: Report