Miami Beckham United‘s MLS stadium plan is heading for a major vote on June 6, when Miami-Dade County commissioners will consider a proposed land sale.
The proposal from Miami Beckham United for a new stadium in Overtown requires the acquisition of a three-acre site owned by Miami-Dade County’s water and sewer department. A public hearing on the proposal was conducted in May, and a vote on whether to sell the land to Miami Beckham United is set for next Tuesday.
There has been some progress for the proposal, as Audrey Edmonson–the commissioner who represents the area where the stadium site is located–has sponsored legislation to sell the property to Miami Beckham United for $9 million. Meanwhile, representatives of Miami Beckham United are set to participate in three town halls leading up to Tuesday’s vote, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday evening.
During the June 6 meeting, the public will be given the opportunity to weigh in on the plan, but commissioners are expected to proceed with a vote. More from The Miami Herald:
For Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, the public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposal, which is being fast-tracked for a final vote that day without going through a committee hearing. A Beckham insider said the London-based celebrity isn’t expected for the meeting before the 13-member board. One member of Beckham’s lobbying and legal team who may address commissioners is Jose Felix Diaz, a Republican member of the Florida House running for State Senate.
“I am a lawyer for Beckham and proud to advocate for [a] 100% privately financed stadium,” Diaz, a registered lobbyist for the Beckham group, wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Soccer is awesome.”
Miami-Dade’s Water and Sewer department owns the property Beckham wants, and would receive the proceeds from the sale. Along with giving the Beckham group about five years to pay for the three-acre parcel where Sixth Street meets Northwest Sixth Avenue, Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposes having the Water and Sewer Department pay “documentary” stamp taxes related to the sale paperwork of about $125,000. Those fees are typically paid by the seller. As a for-profit entity, Miami Beckham United will be required to pay yearly property taxes on the land once the deal closes.
Gimenez wants to use Florida’s economic-development laws to waive competitive bidding for the county land. In exchange, Beckham agreed to a package of economic-development goals and a mandated hiring requirement. The stadium must create 50 permanent, full-time jobs five years after buying the property. Of those positions, 26 must pay at least what the county considers a living wage — roughly $27,000 a year under the current calculation of about $15 an hour.
David Beckham and Miami Beckham United have spent years attempting to secure approval for a new stadium, which would house an MLS expansion franchise.
Edmonson’s endorsement is expected to help the proposal at the county level, but it should be noted that Tuesday’s vote is not the last step in the process for Beckham Miami United. Once the county signs off on the land transaction, the City of Miami will have to consider zoning changes that would allow the stadium’s construction to move forward.
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