By DAN KARELL
A new soccer stadium for an expansion Major League Soccer franchise in Miami is closer to becoming a reality.
Miami Beckham United, the name for David Beckham’s ownership group for a potential MLS franchise, are expected to begin negotiations on Tuesday with Miami-Dade county for a site on which to build a soccer-specific stadium, according to the Miami Herald. Beckham’s group and Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office are expected to go over a list of 30 sites, including Beckham’s preferred site, county-owned land on the Port of Miami.
Depending on the outcome of the meeting, the Miami Herald reports that Beckham and MLS could make an announcement on the progress as early as next week.
Some stumbling blocks still remain before a stadium deal can be reached. Gimenez has repeatedly stated that he will not spend county funds on building a stadium and that if Beckham’s ownership group decided to build a stadium on public land, they’d need to sign a “fair rent payment.”
In addition, at least two county commissioners named in the report are not in favor of any of the stadium sites yet.
On Jan. 16, MLS commissioner Don Garber told reporters at the 2014 MLS SuperDraft that there would likely be an announcement on the future of the Miami MLS expansion bid by early February. Beckham, who retired from professional soccer last May, is able to become an investor-operator in MLS for a cut-rate fee of $25 million instead of the current asking price of around $70-$100 million.
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