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Miami City manager asks Beckham representatives to ‘take a breather’ as stadium talks stall

David Beckham of Paris St Germain adjusts his tie in the Directors' Box


After weeks of negotiations, initial talks between representatives from David Beckham’s Miami franchise and the city of Miami over a potential stadium on a boat slip in downtown Miami have stalled due to a disagreement in annual rent.

According to The Miami Herald, Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said Monday that the two sides should “take a breather” from negotiating after Beckham’s group offered to pay a reported $500,000 a year in annual rent. The City of Miami is reportedly looking for more, and it is estimated that the figure is closer to $12-14 million.

“We’re just too far apart,” Alfonso said.

Alfonso also called off a request to investigate a potential site in an area known as the Florida East Coast Railway slip until the city gets a better understanding of how much the franchise is willing to offer. It is, however, in the city’s political interest to play coy during these negotiations given its much-maligned deal for MLB’s Miami Marlins’ ballpark in Little Havana.

Beckham’s group has proposed to privately fund to fill the boat slip, landscape the land and construct the stadium in a project that would cost roughly $250 million. The venture would also see the franchise create a new park for the city, while also seeing the group seek a subsidy and tax breaks from the city.

In exchange, the city has called for an annual payment in lieu of the taxes to be used for park maintenance and operations for the city of Miami. Beckham’s group has stated that it cannot afford privately purchasing the land and constructing the stadium due to Miami’s property values.

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado has suggested that reaching an agreement will be an “uphill battle”, while also backing the idea of building a stadium near Marlins Park. Beckham’s group is keen on the boat slip location, however.

What do you think of the latest stadium news? How do you see it working out? When will we see a stadium in Miami?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Why not Overtown? It’s been a while since I lived in Miami, but I remember a lot of empty space there, by the RR tracks. It’s close to downtown, serviced by Metrorail and Metromover and though it’s not on the water, the staduim would still have spectacular views of the Miami skyline and it would help revitalize the area.

  2. At this point, just take that franchise to a smaller market. It may not be as glamorous but he’ll definitely pocket more money if this is what kind of expenses he’ll face.

  3. With the ocean on one side and the Everglades on the other, South Florida has pretty much run out of space to build anything large and new. Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are all quickly becoming vertical cities. Beckham will get a stadium, but any waterfront space must be voted upon. The diverse population down here wants MLS, and they want to show off the beautiful skyline. With land being so expensive, it will take some time to get the stadium in the perfect location. AND, when everything is in place we will be the desired location of all MLS rookies! Too bad though that some of these new players will have to play in sleepy towns like Orlando, SLC, or even Kansas City.

  4. Pardon the dose of common sense but shouldn’t Becks and Co. seek to place their team in a city that wants an MLS expansion team?

  5. the city wants $12-14 million a year AND Beckham has to fill it in? That’s ridiculous! Miami doesn’t deserve a franchise with these ridiculous demands. $500k for nothing is pretty reasonable. $14m only if it’s a plot PURCHASE

    • $14m per year is ridiculous with or without the site improvement work (filling the slip). The slip will cost $10m to fill, as a one time cost. Maybe.

      The slip brings basically zero revenue to the city right now. With Beckham’s hundreds of millions of dollars of improvements to the site that he is paying for it will earn millions every year for the city. The rent should be $1 dollar.

      Not a “soccer” issue. This is about how easy “anti-development” politics are in urban areas. Its all about demagoguery

  6. Miami needs to get over themselves and make it happen. As an Atlanta man, I’m excited about a potential rivalry in a few years. Becks would help this team become sleek andan easy sell for big names entering MLS.

  7. Isn’t Chivas USA still up for sale.? If Beckham plans to hire his English brethren he should find a location where the heat index isn’t above 90 degrees in the summer.

      • I would have to doubt such an arrangement is even contemplated in the original agreement. Def not the transfer of an existing franchise license for the pre-arranged price (for starters, he’d never choose Chivas!). I suppose he could start a “third” LA franchise (and hope the Chivas franchise somehow just goes away). Doesn’t all of this need Board approval anyway? It would never get past that hurdle. Way outside the spirit of the original deal.The Galaxy would be none too pleased, for starters.

        Speaking of– AEG and the Galaxy have been on-and-off flirting with a sale anyway, no? Seems like if Becks were interested in LA (i don’t sense he is at all), the sensible solution would be to waive the new franchise right in exchange for a subsidized, pre-approved purchase of the Galaxy. Which would then free up a license for somebody else. MLS could make it’s money back and more, and Becks could shed the headaches, come back to LA and be a hero owner for 1-2 years, and sell the franchise for a tidy (albeit much smaller) profit to a consortium led by Magic Johsnon or whoever. Selling teams is apparently not hard here..

        It’s a decent backup plan in that it would be easy and profitable for all. But there’s just too much money for Becks et al to make starting elsewhere. When they come to their senses, they’ll load up a couple more suitcases of grease money and go get it done in Miami.

        In the event that this actually does happen, I do feel sad (not really) for the poor (rich) sap who buys the Miami franchise after the honeymoon. That thing will crater harder than the Fusion. And much more expensively.

  8. F$ck every city council against soccer 🙂
    If it was a new nba arena, a new mlb stadium and especially nfl, the city council would be crying to get therm their stadium BUT no since it’s soccer, they just love to make MLS life horrible.
    Look at Minneapolis, they got a stadium sooner than DC united, look at Seattle helping the city get a new nba arena but sounders won’t go for a soccer stadium, As a matter of fact Minneapolis has a new mlb park-new arena- new nfl stadium.
    It’s ridiculous how MLS needs to fight for everything, and nfl, nba,mlb just make MLS life miserable.
    Miami keep fighting 🙂

    • I think the problem is those other leagues already robbed every city in America. MLS is late to the party except in select cities like Orlando and KC Kansas.

      After the 90’s and 00’s pretty much every city is in debt after being sold the idea that publicly funded stadiums were a good idea.

      • Well said. Stadiums in the other leagues are, in general, getting financed with more private money now as compared to the last two decades for the reasons you described. I hope that trend continues – and increases.

        I’m curious about the net work of Beckham and his group.

    • You are so right! Look how fast the Nats got a stadium in DC ahead of United who already had been there for years.

  9. Given the $2B that the Clippers sold for it appears that sports franchises are a lot sweeter of an investment than otherwise thought. That being the case there is no reason that cities shouldn’t drive as hard a bargain as the can. Gazillionaire investment groups seem to be multiplying like rabbits. Coastal property less so.

    • Only franchises with lucrative broadcast contracts. Which MLS doesn’t have , and if it did, it would be owned by the league. So no, this is incorrect.

      The reason Becks is being asked to pay up is he decided to move fast with cash instead of slowly building up political support. He must have thought we have some ultra capital nation that bows only to the dollar bill.

      He did get a lucrative contact to join the Galaxy, no questions asked.
      This may have skewed the development of his US business education.
      He’s definitely getting a pretty good education now.

      • Ok hear me out. I don’t know what qualifies as lucrative for you.. remember this is MLS not the Dodgers. But the Galaxy have a $55 million contract with TWC, that MLS does not own at all. They have some option rights for “Game of the Week” matches which are held by ESPN, but the contract itself is held by the franchise. I do agree that this is a big mistake for MLS TV strategy, and it has inflated a lot of these “new franchise fees” badly.

        What do I mean? Everybody in American sports has decided that a “dedicated network” is the end-game of any franchise. Similarly, TV networks are realizing that live sports are the only thing keeping people from cancelling cable.

        Problem is, there are about 100+ professional and college sports teams doing this. And 5-10 (or less) TV networks and distributors who think that this is the only way they will survive. but there just aren’t enough eyeballs and hours in a day. There will be many expensive failures. Any many ownerships groups who discover that the revenue streams they had counted on in their purchase valuations are based on long term contracts with now-insolvent companies. And nobody will step in for anywhere near the price they paid. Uh oh.

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. CONCACAF Network. That’s the game you should want to be playing. That’s the win-win for everybody. MLS, Liga MX, loads of CONCACAF WCQ’s. Men. Women. 24 hours a day (and yes of course a Spanish language sibling). No more of anybody in this region eating leftovers. I refuse to watch another show about badger hunting on NBC Sports because I forgot to change the channel after EPL.

    • The crazy first offer by City of Miami is essentially, public posturing in light of the Marlins stadium cluster shtup. With time, in private, a $ range will emerge that both Beckham’s group and the City of Miami politicians can live with and present to the public.

      • I don’t care for the Miami team idea, but it’s cheap posturing because Beckham is claiming he’ll pay for the stadium privately, then turn it over to the public entities, who will lease it back. So with the extent of his private capital expense, you give him the Marlins’ payback? Cheap politics.

        Personally this is a train wreck waiting to happen, political hoops aplenty plus high capital expense only for the locals to demand high rent and then not actually show up to games. Waste of time.

  10. Sorry Sir Beckham, but the writings in the wall…dump the Miami idea and look elsewhere! Its not quite as sexy as Miami, but St. Louis would be a great location for a franchise.

    • You guys are crazy on the St. Louis idea. Beckham isn’t putting his money into St. Louis. The entire value of the franchise in Miami is that he wants to get a waterfront stadium with all the glamour of Miami culture so that he can get prominent European players in that 29-32 age range to come to Miami and form a super club once the training wheels get taken off in the next CBA and the one after. Those players aren’t coming to freaking St. Louis! That money is not coming to St. Louis! If there was any money in this idea of a team for “the great soccer town of St. Louis”, they wouldn’t be having so much trouble finding an investor!

      Sometimes I wonder if people realize that MLS is a business. And that TV revenue, not ticket sales, is what is going to drive the growth of that business over the next 20 years. That is all these investors care about. Miami is a model that will work with a waterfront stadium. St. Louis will not.

      • Agreed. All this talk about another city is a waste of time.
        Somebody should turn on the lights and wake these fools up.

        Becks revenue plan is based on Euro + Latin American fan base. Miami is the only US city w/o franchise to be able to capture this. His process is screwed, his investment plan is sound.

      • “Becks revenue plan is based on Euro + Latin American fan base. Miami is the only US city w/o franchise to be able to capture this.”

        I’m sorry… I don’t mean to be rude… but what on earth could you possibly be talking about? Are you an investor in the Miami Marlins? That businessplan has been tried many times in Miami and the state of Florida with the universally same result– abject failure,

        There are two things that can possibly produce even 2-3 years of respectable revenue for a professional sports team in Florida:

        (1) A world class all-star team that wins multiple champtionships (i.e. the Heat) unfortunately this is the business plan of NYCFC, Seattle, Red Bulls, Toronto, Galaxy… Good luck…

        (2) Tim Tebow. Or maybe Tim Tebow wearing Zubaz.

        The Latin thing just hasn’t worked. It’s been tried by every team in the region without any sustainable success. I don’t even know what the Euro thing means.. Europeans won’t be caught dead showing sustainedinterest in an MLS team. The rich folks in Monaco won’t even show up at Monaco games. And they’ve played in a Champions League final in the last decade.

        Becks plan will work, but it has nothing to do with an actual, functional revenue model. He’ll stick it out for as long as he is told to, and then split. Wouldn’t you? This whole thing is about monetizing a massively in-the-money option that he and his folks negotiated 5+ years ago.

        They aren’t stupid enough to hang on to a Miami team any longer than you need to to find a sucker and split. Nobody does that there.

      • I really don’t see Miami as being very good for MLS, no. But it’s a decent idea of if you are Beckham and you’re trying to maximize profit on your option.

        I could be wrong about Miami

      • I think all of St. Louis can agree that a team on the banks of the mighty Meramec river would make us happy. Or maybe River Des Peres?

      • There is significant local resistance to selling-off and covering up a newly constructed public park just so Beckham & Co. can have a water view. (And since when is a water view crucial to enjoying a match or having a successful franchise?) They are welcome to bring MLS to South Florida (again), but better to choose another plot of land than continue to fuel a political fire. It will be a PR catastrophe if Beckham & Co. continue on this path.

      • What you are saying is resonating everywhere and it is becoming obvious. Americans (and Brazilians evidiently) are no longer as thrilled with (yet another) shiny new stadium. Most all of the the dreary old multi-purpose stadiums are gone or have been repurposed. It’s not that exciting for most cities anymore to have yet another teardown, another traffic delay, another eyesore, and another inflated illusion of “jobs” which are largely temporary, construction-phase positions.

        EVERYTHING that is infrastructure is publicly financed by nature. It might not be in the Sources & Uses, but everybdy pays somehow. NYCFC might be the last ones to get the joke, but they might pay the heaviest price. Wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, at all.

      • FYI I do realize the story is about the Miami project… I bring up NYCFC because they are the most “stuck” of any of these propositions right now.

        Of course, I suppose NYCFC could always call it a day and retire to that expensive new villa they just bought today. Or did I miss the point of that story….

      • +100 At least someone else knows how Sport leagues work. People who come on SBI and rabble about how we don’t need teams in ATL, NYC and Miami and we should stick with Minnesota, St Louis and San Antonio because of the fan base just need to look at MLB. They doesn’t really draw huge crowds aside from the big teams but they are in major cities and they play a lot of games so they are on TV a lot in big markets. That equals $$$$$ in TV deals. They don’t care if they have under 20,000 in a 40,000 stadium. It wouldn’t be bad to fill up the stadiums but the TV money is so crazy I don’t think they are worried. Just ask the Baltimore Orioles

      • JayAre I’m not disagreeing with you but I think you may be generalizing on some important parts of the argument… tell me if you disagree of if I’m misunderstanding. Spcifically, you’ve started by saying “how sports leagues work” but you spend the rest of the paragraph talking about how the individual franchise makes money.

        In the case of MLS, these are becoming quite different things (it wasn’t always this way), and it is becoming a big deal how this will play out. There may be no bigger battleground than the importance of game attendance/receipts vs. TV rights.

        MLS has done very well with the former… The transition towards soccer specific stadiums has been among the league’s very best strategic moves. It has improved the brand incalculably. Everybody has benefitted, through both increased gate receipts and more importantly, the intangible benifit to the brand as a whole. A 90% filled stadium bring legitimacy to the league. It creates noise, atmostphere, and a sense of rivalry that communicates through the TV. Watch Portland play Seattle (or anybody) and it’s easy to see. Here in LA (not sure where you are… you may be here too so sorry if so), the difference between 15k fans in the Rose Bowl and 15k fans in the

        By contrast, TV rights have been a badly mismanaged sore spot for the league. There is no platform or thesis. Teams unilaterally sign bad contracts (the I am a Galaxy, Lakers, Dodgers fan and I know how dumb these “lucrative” TWC contracts are… they’re about to get much worse too when people realize that the creditworthiness of your counterparty is actually important). Coverage quality and production value is inconsistent. Ratings are terrible. Worse than WNBA. And the League only has a few ways to really help themselves out. They’ve given away too much to the individual teams at this ponit in the game, in my view. They have a mess on their hands and its not clear they even have the power to move beyond a “Match of the Week” type of platform (this is basically what the new ESPN deal offers). Bad for the league. Bad for the brand. And in the long-term, bad for everyone.

        Anyway, I”m sure none of this is really news to you, just wanted to make sure we draw the distinction between “what’s good for the league” and “what’s good for the team”. It’s a different story for every major American team sports league, and the story is writing itself currently in MLS

      • So we have to create new teams in cities that don’t care about MLS because those cities have a lot of people? Ok, but those people don’t care about MLS. They aren’t watching games either in person or on TV.

    • +100 of course it would be a dream to have a waterfront stadium in Miami with an internationally recognized team but right now there are a lot of better options.

      St Louis, Sacramento, San Antonio, NY Cosmos, LA2..

      If Miami is going to happen they should just swallow their pride and play in Marlins Stadium or the Dolphins Stadium until the team is established enough to command the locations they want.

  11. And the hits just keep on coming. Does anyone know if there’s an expiration date on the MLS franchise? I.E. in granting the franchise, did MLS put a stipulation that it had to be done by a certain date?

    Why am I asking? I hear Indianapolis (with it’s 10,000+ average fan base) would be happy to be an MLS expansion site 🙂

    • Miami has not been awarded a franchise yet. MLS just announced their intent, pending a stadium plan. Beckham is not a current franchisee.

    • Shouldn’t we wait to see if the Indy 11 can get a fan base that actually attends games? I know that they had quite a bit of interest, but I have also heard that not that many are actually attending.

      • There are actually some surprising numbers in the minors (if true). Sacramento claims to attendance right around 20k and Indy reports attendance of 11k-ish. Grain of salt and you’d need to see where long term numbers settle, but both those are probably bigger than what I expect the Miami team to average.

      • Every NASL game has been a sellout. Average attendance is over 10,400 with a capacity just over 10,500. The U.S. Open cup game was the lowest attended game with just under 10,000 fans in attendance.

        Whomever told you we aren’t showing up at the games is out to the moon.

      • That is great to hear. I was really putting my midwestern pragmatism ahead of my “go get ’em Indy 11” attitude. My real concern is to make sure this works before jumping into the MLS. Particularly with the news that Louisville is getting the USL franchise from Orlando City.

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