After years of anticipation, plans for a Miami MLS expansion club are expected to be announced on Monday.
Miami Beckham United, the group that includes David Beckham, has worked for the last several years to bring an MLS team to Miami. The group is moving ahead with plans for a new soccer-specific stadium in Overtown, and is now expected to be closer to making a major announcement regarding Miami’s future in the league.
Following the recent additions of Jorge and José Mas, Miami-based leaders of telecommunications giant MasTec, and Japanese entrepreneur and SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi So to the group, Miami Beackham United has appeared close to an announcement. While the group still some hurdles to clear before its stadium plan moves forward, a club launch announcement is expected to take place at a high-profile event on Monday, a major moment for an effort that has unfolded over the last several years. More from The Miami Herald:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, whose administration negotiated a deal for the Beckham partnership to purchase three acres of county land in Overtown, is planning to attend an event on Monday, said spokesman Michael Hernández. Beckham representatives declined to comment, but privately people close to the soccer bid say the tentative plan is for a Monday announcement. Scheduling issues could bump that to Tuesday, the sources said, but the current plan is to hold a public event Monday with Beckham in attendance.
Beckham was last in Miami for an event with Gimenez in early 2014, when he hoped to secure a stadium deal with the county-owned Port Miami. The cruise industry blocked that effort, leading to failed bids for stadiums at the Miami waterfront and next to Marlins Park in Little Havana. The Overtown site sits a few blocks from the Miami River, where Northwest Sixth Street meets Sixth Avenue. The 25,000-seat stadium would be privately financed.
Bruce Matheson, a wealthy landowner near the stadium site, is suing to overturn the no-bid county deal and other neighbors are organizing to block the zoning approvals needed by the city of Miami to build the $200 million stadium.
In addition to Beckham, the Mas brothers, and Son, the Miami MLS ownership group is expected to include Simon Fuller and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
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