It has been almost a year since David Beckham and Major League Soccer made a public announcement that he will be bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.
However over the past 12 months, one storyline has dominated the headlines: where will Beckham build a stadium for his franchise in MIA?
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With two waterfront developments at PortMiami and Museum Park thrown out due to red-tape and other legal issues, MLS Commissioner Don Garber has made it perfectly clear that without a downtown stadium, there will be no franchise in Miami. The clock is ticking for Beckham and his ownership group.
As a host of potential MLS cities — Sacramento, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Las Vegas to name a few — line up impressive expansion bids while Miami tread water (no pun intended, Becks) it seems as though we have reached a pretty critical point as to the likelihood of Beckham’s Miami franchise ever getting off the ground.
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Almost a year to the day since the announcement, looking back, there was no specific time frame given to build a stadium and getting the franchise up and running. But as things stand, here are the options for Beckham…
- Temporary – On Tuesday Becks was handed an olive branch, of sorts, by the Miami county commissioners as Mayor Carlos Gimenez will reportedly “propose using Florida International University’s stadium as a temporary home for the franchise.” But what about Garber’s downtown stadium ultimatum? FIU’s stadium is 15 miles west of Downtown Miami but could be used as a stop-gap while a permanent solution is figured out.
- Hang tight – With that in mind, Beckham recently spoke optimistically about finding a stadium site downtown. But are there any viable sites left? Maybe he’s hanging tight to see if previous options come back in the hunt? Politicians in Miami have recently spoke of how they are still willing to work closely with the soccer legend and his billionaire business partners.
- Linking up with NFL – With Atlanta arriving in MLS in 2017, they will share a brand new stadium with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. A potential franchise in Minneapolis could be housed in the Vikings’ new NFL stadium and the Seattle Sounders and Seahawks share CenturyLink Field. Could the Dolphins welcome Beckham to SunLife Stadium as tenants? With plenty of soccer matches being played there in the past, it’s a great option. But like FIU it is 15 miles out of Downtown. Hmm…
- Moving the franchise – Is this now becoming a serious option? Only Beckham, Garber and a few others are privy to this information but with the MLS Commissioner talking up the chances of plenty of other potential expansion cities at every opportunity, it it conceivable that Beckham’s franchise in Miami will never happen unless that elusive downtown stadium arrives.