David Beckham’s potential Major League Soccer franchise in Miami is closer to becoming a reality.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Beckham’s Miami Beckham United ownership group locked up pivotal backing from Miami-Dade County commissioner Audrey Edmonson, which is expected to clear the way for Beckham to purchase the last plot of land the ownership group needs to build its soccer-specific stadium.
Edmonson represents Overtown, where the stadium is to be located, and she required Beckham and his group to come and pitch the stadium to local residents before she would endorse it.
Edmonson is now sponsoring legislation that would have Beckham’s group purchase a three-acre truck depot in Overtown for around $9 million. The ownership group had already purchased a six-acre plot next to the truck depot from a private owner for $19 million.
Beckham and MLS held their infamous announcement together that Beckham was exercising his franchise-purchase option on February 5, 2014 but since then it’s been a series of proposals and setbacks for Beckham’s team. Proposals to build stadiums in PortMiami and in Little Havana were roundly decried and ultimately rejected by Miami-Dade county.
Eventually, Beckham’s team settled on the Overtown site, though they had to make some concessions, including purchasing the land at market value and giving up the possibility of having on-site parking among others. The stadium will fit snugly into the Overtown neighborhood, with fans having to travel in by train, walking or parking in nearby lots and getting shuttled in.
MLS plans to expand to 28 teams by 2020 and is currently holding the 24th expansion slot for Beckham’s potential franchise in Miami. With the league at 22 teams currently, Los Angeles FC will enter in 2019 with Beckham’s franchise potentially entering in 2019 or 2020 should the stadium receive approval and groundbreaking begin.