MLS is set to evaluate the ongoing situation in Miami, where a group led by David Beckham has struggled to finalize plans for a new stadium.
Since it was announced in 2014, Beckham’s proposal to construct a new stadium for an MLS expansion franchise in Miami has run into to some issues. The group has had complications completing the financing for a proposed stadium in Overtown, complicating the establishment of an expansion team that was to begin play in 2018.
It now appears that MLS owners are going to take a closer look at the situation. When speaking at the World Congress of Sports on Thursday, MLS commissioner Don Garber said that he and a group of owners are slated to discuss the Miami situation. Garber said that the conversation is going to take place at a league board of governors meeting next week, and stressed how complicated it is to complete the Miami proposal. More from Yahoo Sports:
Garber praised Beckham, the former Los Angeles Galaxy star, as “a special guy” and said MLS would still “like to see him as an owner in our league” – a sentiment reminiscent of former NBA commissioner David Stern’s insistence that basketball icon Michael Jordan remain in his league as a team owner.
“We are intrigued by the Miami market, but developing stadiums and developing teams and ownership groups is very complicated,” said Garber, while speaking on a panel about “the future of the beautiful game” with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani.
“In a world with less public funding in large cities, it’s not just complicated. It’s really, really expensive even with a low-cost option with David Beckham and Simon Fuller to have to come into our league. It’s a half-a-billion-dollar project.
“And as we’ve learned – as we’ve been growing our league carefully and in a very strategic way – is that we’d rather wait. And wait and wait on questions like this … before making a bad decision.”
Miami’s proposed entry to the league has already been delayed. The franchise was expected to join MLS along with Los Angeles F.C. in 2018, but LAFC will be the only new expansion club on the schedule next year, leaving Miami to pursue a 2019 launch at the earliest.
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