Will MLS drop 'downtown' in Miami stadium search?

On Sunday, MLS commissioner Don Garber told reporters at the opening of the new stadium in San Jose that he plans to visit Miami in the next few weeks to assess the situation on the stalled efforts to find a home for a stadium for the group headed by David Beckham. After a long standstill, Beckham's arrival in Miami on Sunday night suggests that there might be movement on a site. But will it be acceptable to MLS, which has insisted on a downtown stadium for Miami?

The Miami Herald reported that Beckham, who has an option to purchase an MLS expansion team for $25 million, met with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine Monday night at a birthday party for fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and MLS Miami partner Marcelo Claure, the CEO of Sprint, was in Miami last week to meet with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and a private meeting with Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The Marlins Stadium project is such a sore subject in Miami that Gimenez has refused to step foot in the stadium for a Marlins game. (He said recently he might change his stance this season.)

Gimenez opposed public funding of the baseball stadium -- “I still wear my Marlins scars quite proudly,” he said -- and it cost then-Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez his job in a recall.

The Miami-Dade County Commission recently gave Gimenez the authority to negotiate with Beckham's group on a site on the west side of Marlins Park.

“We cannot go to Miami unless we have not just a viable," Garber said last June after a second location was rejected by Miami political entities, "but a very, very strong downtown location for a city that will be provided with a Major League Soccer franchise that can privately finance a stadium to do it with one of the soccer world’s most important and significant icons and to make a commitment to make it one of the better teams, or most important teams, in North America."

Beckham's first choice was at PortMiami while a second option for a downtown stadium was near Museum Park. Marlins Park is located five miles from PortMiami.

Another Beckham possibility is an unidentified site in the Overtown section of Miami, located closer to downtown.
1 comment about "Will MLS drop 'downtown' in Miami stadium search?".
  1. Juan R, March 24, 2015 at 9:02 p.m.

    I want to see MLS Miami soon. I live in Broward and I don't care if it's in Downtown Miami, though it would be cool to spend the day down there. I just want to see it done. It the project is downtown it will have a higher rate of success. Maybe we can bring Falcao, that would really give us a boost! Too bad there is no promotion and relegation here. Otherwise we could have my Strikers reach MLS one day...

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