Next up: getting zoning approval to actually build a stadium on the land. That step should bring opposition from neighbors concerned about the activity it will bring to the neighborhood. Miami Beckham United also must get formal MLS approval for the Miami team -- it was always contingent on a stadium deal -- and finalize ownership and stadium financing deals.
If Miami Beckham United gets zoning approval in 2018, it hopes to open the stadium in 2020. At a recent town hall at the Overtown YWCA, Tim Leiweke, who brought Beckham to the LA Galaxy and joined Miami Beckham United, had said the plan called for the stadium to open in 2021.
Miami Beckham United has been seeking for more than three years to get a stadium project off the ground. Deals at three sites -- PortMiami, downtown Miami and Little Havana, next to Marlins Park -- collapsed. Miami Beckham United then purchased two pieces of private land covering six acres for roughly $19 million. All that was left was to buy the third plot of land from Miami-Dade County.
Miami Beckham United proposes that fans use public transportation, ride-sharing, shuttle buses from area parking garages, water taxis or dinner-cruise boats to get to its soccer stadium, located near the Miami River. It will have no on-site parking.
Parallel to Beckham's stadium search, he sought out new investors to add to the group that also includes Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and American Idol founder Simon Fuller, a Beckham adviser. New investors are expected to announced soon.
When signed with MLS a decade ago, Beckham received an option to buy at MLS club for $25 million, a reasonable price for a league that then had 13 teams. Miami will be the 24th team with four more teams slated to later join at an asking price of $150 million.
That makes an MLS team in Miami a very good deal for Beckham -- which he has a great incentive to see through.