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Don Garber to return to Miami to continue ongoing stadium discussions

Don Garber David Beckham Miami 51

photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Don Garber was in Los Angeles on Monday for LAFC’s stadium plan announcement. He’ll be in Miami later this week to try to figure out how to get something similar done there.

Garber informed reporters on Monday that he is set to return to Miami to continue the ongoing soccer-specific stadium talks that prospective MLS club owner David Beckham is having with the city. Nothing concrete has developed in recent months, but the MLS commissioner does not sound like he’s losing faith in Beckham’s desired Miami plans.

“I remain optimistic and committed to David Beckham and his partners, but until we have more information it’s hard for us to have any answers,” Garber told media out in Los Angeles. “There are a number of different sites we’re looking at, but none have popped up out of the pile to give us the sense that there is a deal that can be done immediately.

“That being said, David and (and his ownership group partners Simon Fuller and Marcelo Claure) are as focused if not more focused than ever before, so there is no lack of activity. It’s just a lack of any definitive news.”

In recent weeks, an area to the west of downtown Miami and near Marlins Park has been talked about by city officials as being suitable for a stadium. But Beckham’s group, Miami Beckham United, has not publicly expressed interest in that piece of land, which Fuller previously labeled “spiritually tainted”.

Miami Beckham United has been working to iron out a stadium deal in the South Florida metropolis for more than a year now. Beckham announced in February 2014 his decision to use his discounted rate for an expansion franchise in Miami, but has run into opposition for two of the sites he’s targeted.

Recently, Garber said that a Miami franchise would be in MLS by 2020.

 

What do you think of Garber’s most recent comments regarding a potential MLS team in Miami? Surprised to see him and the league be so adamant about it? Do you see a stadium deal getting done by the end of the year?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Is it telling that 90% of the comments on this thread divulged into conversations about other markets or are bashing the Miami group? The other 10% are proposing a plan not on the table.

    miami = sinking ship.

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  2. Minn having problems with their stadium plan.
    Miami going no where but a likely disaster

    All the while Sacramento with a key in place turned and waiting for the call.

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  3. The problem with FC Dallas and Colorado is location. They both built stadiums on the outskirts with a bunch of fields for youth tournament events. They’re terrible locations for weekday games in particular. They have none of the downtown energy / march to the match feel that the downtown stadia in MLS have.

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    • Same with the Fire. If that place was anywhere near downtown Chicago or anywhere in the City itself, they could have a rocking ground!

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    • Kroenke was crazy to build in Stapleton instead of next to the Pepsi Center in Downtown Denver. DSG Park is harder to get to–even when the light rail expansion is complete next year. A stadium near Lodo and Union Station would help attendance so much.

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  4. If LA2 can get a stadium and pay a big amount, then nyc,miami, Seattle,Boston and Vancouver, can as well.
    Its just politics and underground corruption that needs to happen. If it was for an nfl team or new baseball stadium, it would happen fast, but its soccer and it take s time.
    All we can hope for is that miami gets the best location and stadium by 2018 and that Seattle, Vancouver, nyc learn from LA2. It takes serious money and talk, because politics don’t like soccer.
    If all goes right, by latest 2018-2019, mls will have DC, Minnesota, Miami, LA2 with new stadiums and a miracle might happen with nyc.
    2018 might be the year of the messi and cr7 mls sweepstakes, so mls needs LA2, miami ready 🙂
    By the way, Seattle needs to buy that new arena land or work something out with memorial stadium. A 45,000 wouldn’t be bad.

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    • Seattle doesn’t need a stadium. They have one already that meets their current needs and allows them to just open up the whole stadium for big matches. Maybe at some point they’ll open up the whole stadium for every match and they’ll be able to do that without building anything.

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      • Agreed.
        Enough with the “Seattle needs a new stadium” stuff.
        Now, maybe a new surface to replace the turf (which is very unlikely).

      • But Seattle folks never tire of telling us how perfect the surface is. Meets all the FIFA requirements, etc. Even mentioning it is an insult to the perfect world that is Sounders soccer.

      • no, we agree the current surface needs replaced. We liked it a few years ago, then it wore down.
        We simply agree that turf is what will always be at C-Link. And that C-Link is the best venue. Sure, a SSS would be nice, but no way it would be better in most ways than the C-Link.

      • In most ways, perhaps — but not with respect to the very foundation, the playing surface. Call it what you will, but it’s still plastic, and it changes the game.

      • If only the people in Seattle would push all their energy into telling mgmt they want Real Grass..

        Or at minimum new turf ever other year.. Then maybe we’d see how awesome and effective that fan base really is.

        As it is they are a bunch sheep touting the company line.

    • How many teams in the English league would kill for Seattle’s stadium? Almost all of them.

      The current stadium was built for soccer.
      Tearing down Memorial stadium to build 45,000 seat stadium would be a catastrophe.
      And many of the school age kids would have no where to play.

      Stay on task El Paso

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      • Actually How many English league teams would kill to have Seattle s money and fans, why stadium. The location is unique but the stadium its not right design for soccer.
        So they would like a “nest” seating area with suites behind a goal, instead of having an Emirates or some other fancy British stadium, yeah right.
        So If sounders owner comes out and says, we are making a 300$ million stadium with retractable roof, you wouldn’t want it.
        Soccer stadiums are small and easy to do, it just depends the design and little details that make it longer to finish.
        But I understand, clink is the best soccer stadium in the world and Seahawks own the field, just ask garber and the nfl.

      • Since the team sells out 40k+ every game as is a “small” stadium doesn’t make any sense. This would be a total waste of money. The only possible improvement would be a grass field but I don’t think that’s happening (and personally I don’t really care about that but I realize others do).

        A much more important area of focus for MLS is finalizing DC’s stadium. That place is the biggest pile of garbage I’ve ever seen and is a lot more embarrassing to the league than a turf field in a stadium with 40k rabid fans.

      • Clink is owned by Seahawks nfl and sounders forever will be second 🙁 and grass won’t come to clink.

      • Wrong. The stadium was designed for soccer as it was a requirement in the legislation and referendum that built it.

        RCW 36.102.010 DEFINITIONS

        (9) “Stadium and exhibition center” means an open-air stadium suitable for national football league football and for Olympic and world cup soccer, with adjacent exhibition facilities, together with associated parking facilities and other ancillary facilities.

        http://www.sounderatheart.com/2014/11/21/7266775/rcw-36-102-010

        Allen’s people scrambled to turn their football project into a combined football and soccer stadium. They hired an architect with soccer expertise to redraw the stadium’s blueprints, widening the corners to accommodate a soccer field, moving lights so they would illuminate the sidelines and slightly raising the lowest rows of the grandstand to give better soccer sightlines.

        http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jan/14/how-soccer-saved-the-seattle-seahawks

      • Is that a real idea? To tear down Memorial Stadium and build new? That is an even more central location than South of Downtown. It is literally in a place called Seattle Center, walkable from everywhere. Why would it be catastrophe? There are plenty of other fields for kids to play on. Practically every neighborhood in Seattle has one. Anyway kids don’t need fields per se they need balls.

      • Walkable yes, if you live in Lower Queen Anne. However transitwise it sucks. CenturyLink has the benefit of being in the walkshed of 2 of the 3 largest transit hubs in the State (King Street/International District Station Hub and Coleman Docks) and the third (Westlake) is 4 tunnel stations away. Sounder, Light Rail, Ferries, pretty much every Regional Express Bus, and soon the First Hill Streetcar, then later the SLUT (being extended down 1st to connect to the First Hill Streetcar) will also serve CenturyLink.

        Seattle Center has Rapid Ride D and the tourist toy monorail (doesn’t even take ORCA cards).

        No way could it handle the kind of crowds that the Sounders bring in, especially when you consider the demos.

  5. That area is tainted because taxpayers were ripped off by the building of the marlins stadium. beautiful facility and crappy baseball team.

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    • And — more to the point — a sparsely attended stadium, even when the Marlins were good. I predict that in ten to fifteen years Miami will be without an MLS franchise — either because it never gets off the ground, or because it goes the way of the Fusion.

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    • They need to sell their stadium or remodel their stadium like tfc is doing. FcDallas and rapids need a rebrand as a matter of fact, nobody would make a big deal anyway since they are a ghost in their perspective market.
      I repeat if LA2 can get their stadium and tfc can remodel theirs, then mls teams like Seattle, Vancouver, Columbus, fc Dallas, are on the clock.

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      • The problem w/ FC Dallas & the Rapids are stadium location, not the stadium itself. Much like Chicago.
        Seattle and Vancouver are doing just fine. BC Place was remodeled with soccer in mind as well as everything else it is used for.
        Seattle, well, please stop trying to get them into a SSS, it’s not going to happen. The C-Link is too good.

    • You must not be from Dallas. I have been a STH for FC Dallas for the last 5 years and the issues is not the stadium or its location. When it was first built it was in the middle of nowhere but in the last 5 years the population in the metroplex has shift north towards Plano, Frisco, and McKenny. There is now a lot of business all around the stadium and the exits north and south of the stadium. The crowd has grown from when I first started going to game in 2009. It use to be the side across from the press box was generally empty…in the last few years most of the stadium is full and the supporter groups have grown into behind both goals and section 102 (the beer garden is rocking most games). Although attendance is a little down this year the weather has been terrible (Thunderstorms and rain) on several games over the last month that is likely causing walk ups to drop. The team is fantastic, the Front Office is improving, and I would expect attendance to get better over the remainder of the year. DTID

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      • While I agree with you that Frisco, and specifically the area around the stadium, has really developed over the past few years, the location is honestly terrible. None of the younger adults in their 20’s are going to drive 30-40 mins (with no traffic) up to Frisco from downtown, just to stay sober and have to drive back.

  6. Why did Fuller label a site as “spiritually tainted”?

    Garber’s continuing dance with the Beckham group is a sight to behold. Consider the stark contrast with Orlando, which entered the league with a rabid fan base. The Miami group seems more like an alien spacecraft looking for a landing spot. What if you threw an MLS expansion announcement and nobody came?

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    • He called it spiritually tainted since the Marlins stadium and its environs has been nothing but a white elephant. Massive public funds with little to no return. No accompanying redevelopment and no fans go there.

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  7. How about Wynwood? Then you can get artsy with the façade. That’d be cool and you could pick up land on the cheap.

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      • The more I’m thinking about this the more I like it. Lots of hipster down there, counter culture type stuff, perfect for soccer. Lots of cool bars and restaurants with in walking distance, lots of breweries. With in a 10 minute drive of downtown Miami. Let’s do it!!

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