After years of roadblocks and stalls that raised doubts about David Beckham's plan to bring an MLS franchise to Miami, Beckham and his ownership group scored a huge win on Tuesday.
Beckhams group has finally secured all the land they need to build their proposed stadium in Overtown after the Miami-Dadecommissionersapproved selling 3 acres of land to the group for $9 million, completing the land acquisitions necessary for the venue. Thats certainly not the final step in the process, but it has been the biggest lingering hurdle and just like that, Beckhams efforts to bring MLS to Miami are back from the brink of death.
The city will still need to approve the actual construction of the stadium, but now that Beckhams group has promised to use private funds to build the stadium and create 50 permanent jobs, it appears the plan has support. The city and county would not give the stadium any subsidies, according to reports.
"The process was lengthy, difficult, but necessary in order to ensure that Miami-Dade County taxpayers were properly compensated, Miami Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said in a statement.
The planned stadium site is located in Overtown, just outside of downtown Miami, after sites along Miamis waterfront and near Marlins Park hit heavy opposition. The stadium would cost $300 million and seat 25,000, but feature no parking garages.
Beckham has been trying to gather the pieces to build a downtown stadium since 2013. He was given the rights to an MLS expansion franchise for the steeply discounted price of $25 million as part of his deal to join the LA Galaxy as a player in 2007.
MLS had been losing patience with the drawn-out efforts in Miami, with commissioner Don Garber publicly saying this year that Beckham was running out of time. Garber has insisted MLS expansion franchises need fully controlled stadiums in downtown locations, but Beckhams group repeatedly ran into problems with potential stadium sites.
Now, with Tuesdays vote in Miami-Dade, Beckham for the first time has all the land he needs to build a stadium and hes the closest hes ever been to making a Miami MLS franchise a reality.