David Beckham MLS franchise in Miami moves closer with final land purchase
June 7, 2017
By Christian Radnedge –
David Beckham’s plan for a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami has moved up a gear after securing the land needed for a proposed stadium.
Miami-Dade County commissioners voted on Tuesday to allow the former player’s group Miami Beckham United to purchase the final three acres of a nine-acre plot where the franchise will be based.
The group will pay $9million for the final acres, having already purchased the other six acres for $19m.
A 25,000-seat stadium is planned on the site for a franchise which has been Beckham’s pet project for more than four years now in trying to bring an expansion MLS side to Miami.
— MiamiDadeBCC (@MiamiDadeBCC) June 6, 2017
Tim Leiweke, one of the partners in Beckham’s goup, said he’s hopeful a team could even start playing in the stadium by 2020.
“Miami is ready,” said Leiweke. “We are committed. And the city and the county have now taken the necessary steps for us to control our own destiny for a privately financed, world-class soccer stadium for Major League Soccer.”
The construction costs are projected to be around $220m, which Leiweke confirmed will come from private funding and that there will be no public money involved.
“We are not here to take money from the county or the city,” he said. “We will pay for this project ourselves, privately, we will pay property taxes and we will be good neighbours.”
A significant obstacle to overcome is the fact that Miami has not yet been awarded a franchise by the MLS.
Beckham’s 2007 contract with Los Angeles Galaxy gave him the right to start an expansion franchise for $25m, and four years ago he earmarked Miami as where he would want set up a team.
“We look forward to working with the Miami community to bring our vision for the neighborhood to life,” Miami Beckham United said in a statement.
“Our loyal fans in Miami and around the world have been waiting for this moment for years, and we’re thrilled that we’re getting closer to our kick-off.”
MLS officials responded positively to this week’s news and will be in Miami on Wednesday to tour the planned site.