By FRANCO PANIZO
MLS’s return to Miami could take one more step towards becoming reality next week.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County commissioners are expected to meet and vote next Tuesday on legislation that would ask mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration to identify potential sites for a soccer-specific stadium and negotiate construction contracts with interested private developers. If approved, it could open the door for global icon David Beckham and his investors to bring an MLS team back to South Florida.
Beckham has been in Miami in recent months to tour sites that could potential serve as a permanent home for an MLS franchise. Beckham, who played in MLS from 2007 to 2012, has an option to purchase an expansion club at a discounted rate of $25 million and has zeroed in on Miami as the destination.
Recently, Beckham and his ownership group were said to be considering building a stadium on county-owned land at PortMiami and they have already reportedly approached the county about the possibility of constructing a stadium there. No county funds are expected to be used toward the stadium.
In related news, Beckham – who has said he would like to present a new franchise plan to MLS’s board of directors by the end of the year – and his investment group, Beckham Brand Limited, created a new Florida corporate entity this week named Miami Beckham United.
MLS announced that it would return to Florida, where it has not been since 2001, last month with the expansion announcement of Orlando City SC.
Miami and Atlanta are considered the next two expansion favorites as the league attempts to grow its national footprint in the southeast part of the United States.
What do you think about this development? Like Beckham’s aggressive push for a SSS stadium in Miami? Still think MLS returning to Miami is a bad idea?
Share your thoughts below.