David Beckham’s MLS group to talk stadium situation with Miami mayor

Thursday July 16th, 2015

David Beckham’s business partners will meet with the mayor of Miami to discuss their ongoing efforts to build a stadium for an MLS team, one of Beckham’s associates confirmed to the Miami Herald

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, a member of Beckham’s prospective ownership group, told the Herald that he will have a video conference on Friday with Miami mayor Tomas Regalado. Beckham will not be present. 

When Beckham signed with the L.A. Galaxy in 2007, his contract included a clause that granted him the right to own an expansion franchise. He announced his intentions to operate a club in Miami in early 2014 but the inability to find a stadium to host the team has delayed the process. MLS has been adamant that it will not grant Beckham’s group an expansion license without a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Miami. 

Miami city officials rejected a plan last summer for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium next to American Airlines Arena, the home of the NBA's Miami Heat, after an initial proposal for a waterfront site was strongly opposed by cruise lines operating in the city.

KAY: Miami’s MLS supporters wait for a club

The passing a stadium proposal in Miami is difficult after the city's decision to provide $500 million in public funding to build Marlins Park for the city’s Major League Baseball franchise. With interest, it will cost taxpayers $3 billion. Beckham’s group says it will finance construction of the stadium and pay rent for the publicly-owned land. 

The Herald reported in May that Beckham’s group was meeting with outgoing University of Miami president Donna Shalala to discuss the possibility of a shared stadium for the MLS club and Miami’s football team. The Herald now reports that “talks of a joint stadium appear to have cooled.”

County officials had previously offered Beckham’s group use of Florida International University’s football stadium as a temporary measure. 

The second-tier NASL announced in May that it will launch an expansion team in Miami in 2016 that will play at a yet to be determined existing stadium in the area. 

• ​Man U's Wayne Rooney would consider move to MLS

- Dan Gartland

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