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Miami City Commission sends Beckham stadium to Nov. ballot

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David Beckham and his business partners, the Mas brothers, are one top closer to securing the stadium deal required to bring an MLS expansion franchise to the city of Miami — maybe, but also maybe not.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup: Pogba wants Juve move, Grealish to Spurs? ]

The Miami City Commission voted on Wednesday to place a referendum on the November ballot, paving the way for Beckham and Co.’s privately-funded complex on city land currently occupied by a golf course. The final vote tally was 3-2 in favor of sending the issue to ballot. A previous Commission session was conducted, and ended, last week without a final vote taking place as the fifth and final member had yet to make up his mind.

Beckham and partners used the last week, between Commission meetings, to put a full-court press on Miami’s general public, local media and the last remaining member of the Commission.

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The key, and most contentious, part of the proposal is (at least) $35 million worth of toxic waste which must be removed from the site. That number could very easily double or triple once clean-up begins, and Beckham’s group would be on the hook for the total cost.

The proposed stadium would seat roughly 25,000 fans and would be just one part of the 58-acre park which will also include retail, restaurants and hotels.

Miami commissioners delay vote on Beckham soccer deal

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MIAMI (AP) Miami city commissioners have pushed back a vote following hours of public comment for and against David Beckham’s latest soccer stadium plan.

[ MORE: Hazard hints at Chelsea exit, has “preferred destination” in mind ]

At the end of Thursday’s meeting, commissioners delayed a decision until Wednesday to put a measure on the November ballot to replace the city-owned Melreese Country Club.

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star and business partner Jorge Mas pitched their current plan Thursday night for their Major League Soccer franchise. The group’s latest proposal calls for a 28,000-seat stadium, hotel rooms, restaurants, shops, a new park and public soccer fields near Miami International Airport.

[ MORE: World Cup most disappointing XI players ]

If commissioners approve, voters would decide on Nov. 6 whether to change the city’s charter and allow what would be a no-bid deal to lease 73 acres (30 hectares) at the Melreese site.

Beckham group unveils (another) new Miami stadium, park design

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1,614 days after David Beckham announced he intended to bring an MLS expansion franchise to Miami, Beckham still has every intention in the world of doing so as he and his group of potential owners unveiled on Sunday the first images of a(nother) proposed stadium complex — Miami Freedom Park — this time, near Miami International Airport.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

Beckham and his (latest) business partners — the Mas brothers, Jorge and Jose — have been silent in recent months over their next attempt at securing a stadium deal after a series of failed attempts, involving Beckham and a number of his now-former co-owners.

Beckham and Jorge Mas are expected to unveil their detailed proposal at the Miami City Commission meeting on Thursday.

Beckham, Zlatan settle on England vs. Sweden bet

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Soccer superstars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham have struck a deal ahead of the World Cup quarterfinal game between their two countries on Saturday.

[ MORE: Belgium’s golden generation reaches World Cup semifinal ]

Ibrahimovic challenged Beckham via Instagram and the bet was relayed on the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Twitter account.

Beckham, the former England and Galaxy midfielder, accepted the risk of furnishing Ibrahimovic’s L.A. mansion — with a twist.

If Beckham’s team wins Saturday in Samara, Ibrahimovic must come to a future England game “wearing an England shirt and enjoy fish & chips at half time.”

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

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When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

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Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.