Despite not much in the way of public announcements, a new Miami MLS stadium is still being pursued, with financial organization and facility work going on behind the scenes — to the consternation of Miami-Dade elected officials.
To say that the continuing suspense over the status of a new Miami MLS stadium backed by David Beckham and his investors is causing chatter across the professional soccer world is an understatement. There is much at stake both for MLS and Miami, even as Beckham and crew now shoot for a 2019 launch, as opposed to the 2018 launch discussed earlier. (LAFC will be the only new MLS team in 2018.) As MLS moves along the expansion path, Miami occupies a slot that could be filled by a Cincinnati or San Diego and give Don Garber and crew the freedom to move forward with five expansion teams, not the four slots current envisioned. And Miami-Dade officials say that if Beckham doesn’t need a three-acre plat of land for a new Miami MLS stadium, they’re willing to move ahead to build affordable housing on the site, per the Miami Herald:
“How long are we going to negotiate for the use of that [county-owned land] before we decide that maybe that ought to be made available for some affordable housing?” Commissioner Xavier Suarez asked Monday during a meeting of the county’s Housing and Social Services committee. “Are we going to wait for these folks forever before we use that property for something more?”
Suarez’s comments may constitute a high-water mark of public frustration from a Miami-Dade official as Beckham’s local lobbying team tries to reassure leaders that a stadium deal remains within reach….
While Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he’s ready to negotiate the sale of a three-acre vehicle depot for the stadium complex there, county officials say they haven’t heard from Beckham’s team for months.
The issue, as it has been for months: the need for another financial partner to help fund the stadium construction. There have been plenty of false starts on this front, and until the Beckham group announced a new partner, fans and elected officials are going to be skeptical about the status of the effort.
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