MLS: Beckham finally secures Miami land deal

A home, finally, for David Beckham's soccer stadium moved a lot closer to reality when the  Miami Beckham United received approval, by a 9-4 vote of Miami-Dade County commissioners, to buy the third parcel of land it needs to build a 25,000-seat stadium in the Overtown neighborhood of the city.

The agreement would be a no-bid deal to purchase land on a county truck depot for $9 million. The cost of the stadium, which will be privately financed, will be about $220 million -- plus an additional $25 million for a training complex.

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.

5 comments about "MLS: Beckham finally secures Miami land deal".
  1. Dan Eckert, June 7, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

    I'm all for MBU getting off the ground - and no parking - is a novel idea. But Miami in the heat/humidity/rain - just sucks. Hope they have a plan on how to get people to public transportation without getting wet - and most importantly - how to get them in and out of the area in a cost effective way. Paying $20 for parking for $2 Hours to watch a marginal MLS team - is kinda silly - especially when you have to walk a mile to get to the stadium.

  2. Chris Wirth, June 7, 2017 at 11:39 a.m.

    It sounds like a great plan for both the future club and the city, so it's hard to believe it would get shot down in Planning. However, there will be some contentious public hearings between now and then no doubt. The biggest issue in my mind is the lack of parking. They're going to have to come up with something -- maybe a parking structure some way away and a shuttle.

  3. John Soares, June 7, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.

    I hope it works... but, if it doesn't!? It is time to put this whole saga away, and give someone else a chance.

  4. Glenn Maddock, June 7, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

    I'm from Florida, grew up there, and have wanted a 2nd MLS club in the Miami area for years. But, I think this location is going to be a disaster. Miami is a fickle sports town. They hate traffic and have lots of it, and they only support winners. They are going to be giving away tickets to this place. In the heat & rain of summer you cant expect fans to walk any major distance.

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now, June 7, 2017 at 5:50 p.m.

    Worst sports town in America. I have no idea why MLS thinks this is a good idea.

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