A nuisance suit attacking Miami-Dade County's sale of a three-acre truck depot Miami Beckham United needs to complete the stadium site in Overtown has been working its way through the Florida courts.
The circuit court judge dismissed the attempt to sabotage the deal with what he termed a "sham bid," but his decision has been appealed and the appeal could take months to be heard.
With that in mind, Tim Leiweke's frustration with the state of Beckham's MLS bid is not surprising. In an interview with the Toronto Sun's Kurt Larson, he raised doubts whether the deal will ever get done.
Leiweke brought Beckham to MLS in 2007 when he was CEO and president of AEG, owner of the LA Galaxy, and was brought in to help Miami Beckham United win approval for the stadium site in Overtown after plans at several other Miami stadium sites fell through.
“I’m helping any way I can with David,” Leiweke told Larson. “I hope it gets done, but it’s not done. I have my fears as to whether it’s going to get done because things like this that drag on this long that’s always tough on a process. But for David I hope he lands somewhere.”
After AEG, Leiweke was the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and responsible for turning around Toronto FC. He is now the CEO of Oak View Group, which he operates with Hollywood music mogul Irving Azoff.
“It would be unfortunate for the league to not honor the job he did and the decision he made,” Leiweke added. “His best work would still be ahead of us if we could figure out a way to get him involved with a franchise. But our company has a lot of different projects. I haven’t spent a lot of time on Miami lately so I’m not sure if that gets done. I hope it does for David’s sake.”
If the Miami bid collapsed, it would create a big gap in MLS's building blocks. As recently as 2016, Miami was slated to join the league in 2018 along with LAFC. Without Miami, MLS will go with 23 teams in 2018 -- and absorb all the scheduling hassles an odd number of teams creates.
A solution for MLS, if Miami were no longer viewed as a viable option, would be to award MLS expansion teams to the three cities currently fighting for the two spots slated to be awarded in mid-December -- Sacramento, Nashville and Cincinnati -- and launch one of them in 2019.