David Beckham gets approval for land to build MLS stadium in Miami

Erica Murray
June 7, 2017

Miami is one step closer to receiving a Major League Soccer franchise after the Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to sell 2.8 acres of public land to a group led by David Beckham.

The 9-4 vote by Miami-Dade commissioners gives Beckham right to buy the remaining third of his planned nine-acre stadium site in Miami's Overtown neighborhood.

Beckham has the next 60 days to finalize a deal with MLS for his Miami franchise, which includes league approval of the stadium site, the ownership team and financing.

If Miami Beckham United gets zoning approval in 2018, it hopes to open the stadium in 2020.

Miami Beckham United already paid $19 million for six other acres of land needed for the stadium and it would be privately funded with the stadium being subject to county property tax. "We appreciate the support of the Mayor and the County Commissioners to assist in efforts to try to bring a Major League Soccer expansion team to Miami".

"I will tell you this is probably the best site we have found, for many respects", Beckham group attorney Neisen Kasdin said unsurprisingly.

Since the agreement between Beckham and Gimenez was announced in early May, Overtown and Spring Garden residents have expressed skepticism about a soccer stadium in their backyard - citing the lack of parking, potential for traffic gridlock and questioning the promise of 50 permanent jobs.

The land deal is a major development in what has been at times an arduously slow - and often frustrating - process for Beckham in his quest to bring a franchise to Miami.

"The process was lengthy, difficult, but necessary in order to ensure that Miami-Dade County taxpayers were properly compensated", Gimenez said. With David Beckham's MLS set to be placed in Miami, rumors are strong regarding the former football superstar and his wife Victoria Beckham shifting base to Miami. Beckham's group has said the cost of the stadium, which still needs to be approved by city planners, will be met by private investors with no public funds being used in its construction.

The victory for Beckham came just one day after the San Diego City Council decided not to finance a special election that would have brought plans of building a new soccer complex there to a vote.

Beckham played his last MLS match in 2012. Donovan says he will continue trying to get a team there. "I think it's great that we're surrounded on this parcel by so many transit access points".

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