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Miami City Commission sends Beckham stadium to Nov. ballot


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.

Report: Miami soccer stadium search may be re-opened

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You can’t be serious.

Less than five weeks since being awarded an expansion franchise, with an ownership group and a stadium plot of land in hand, it appears the stadium search is back on the table.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, co-owner Jorge Mas said he wanted to build one of the “most technologically advanced, futuristic stadium’s” in the country, and that couldn’t be done on the nine acres the club currently owns in the Overtown neighborhood in Miami.

“Obviously, you need more than nine acres for that,” Mas said. “We’ve been exploring the surrounding area in terms of: What can we do to put this all together?”

The news is another punch in the gut to MLS fans in South Florida, who have been waiting more than five years since Beckham first announced he would be exercising his MLS ownership option to find a stadium location. It appeared that Beckham had finally landed on building a stadium in Overtown but now it appears the Mas brothers have bigger plans.

The Herald reports that the Mas brothers have discussed a large range of sites, including an area next to Marlins Park, an old boat yard by the Miami River, and even outside of the city on a 24-acre site in Doral.

The longer the delays on a stadium, the longer Beckham’s expansion team will go before actually taking the field, even if they play their first few seasons in a temporary venue, such as Marlins Park or on the campus of Florida International University.

Beckham’s Miami team to be announced Monday… finally

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MIAMI (AP) David Beckham can finally see the goal in Miami, and his Major League Soccer team is about to be born.

The soccer icon and his group of partners announced plans for a news conference Monday, saying they will make “an important announcement on the future of soccer in Miami.”

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday | Tuesday ]

Beckham is ready to draw his first Miami crowd, too: The event at a downtown arts center will be open to fans. MLS, which will stream the event live on its website, said they were participating in what will be “a special announcement.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is among those expected to attend, along with several Miami-Dade County political officials. Other members of Beckham’s group include Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller and South Florida businessman Jorge Mas — who tried unsuccessfully to buy the Miami Marlins last year.

Beckham has spent the last four years trying to bring MLS back to South Florida. The Miami Fusion played from 1998-2001, folding because of poor attendance.

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Beckham’s plans for Miami were delayed because of ongoing challenges regarding where he could build a stadium for his new team. His group originally wanted a waterfront site, then settled on a plot of land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood — a deal that has faced legal challenges, even after he spent $9 million to purchase a needed piece of land from the county.

There will be 23 MLS clubs this season, and the league is in the midst of trying to grow to 28 teams. Miami has long been considered the provisional 24th franchise, not having official status because of the stadium questions.

Those questions are apparently answered now to MLS’s satisfaction.

Nashville was recently awarded an expansion franchise, and when that team and Miami commence play it give MLS four franchises in the Southeast portion of the U.S. – with those clubs joining Orlando and Atlanta.

MLS is planning to choose another expansion club in Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento.

Report: Beckham’s MLS franchise in Miami to be confirmed

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It’s actually happening.

According to the Associated Press, David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise to be based in Miami will be officially announced next Monday.

The franchise has seem mythical for most of the last four years since it was announced by MLS commissioner Don Garber alongside Beckham in South Florida in February 2014.

With multiple stadium deals not working out, plus a recent change in his ownership group, it appeared that Beckham’s dream of having an MLS franchise in MIA were doomed. Until now.

Here’s more information via AP, who cite a source who says a formal announcement will happen next Monday.

Beckham and his partners are planning a Monday event to formally announce Miami’s new MLS team, as well as its name and logo, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither Beckham’s group nor MLS officials had announced the plans publicly.

A spokesman for Beckham did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His group has said it wants the new team to begin play in the 2020 season.

MLS’ rapid expansion since Beckham was awarded an MLS franchise in 2014 (due to a clause in his contract which stated he could own a team for just $25 million) has seen many calling for the plans for a team in Miami to be scrapped. But after countless sites were earmarked for a soccer-specific stadium, Beckham appears to have found the perfect location.

The last parcels of land needed to secure a site in Overtown were purchased in June 2017 and despite legal battles, plans are in place for a soccer-specific stadium just a few miles from downtown Miami.

With Nashville the newest MLS expansion franchise to be announced in December 2017, the league now consists of 24 teams (excluding Miami) with one more team to be added in 2018 from Cincinnati, Sacramento and Detroit as they continue their bid for a franchise.

That means by 2020 there will be at least 26 teams in MLS, up from 17 franchises in 2010.

For now the great expansion race continues in MLS and despite all of his stadium issues, Beckham now has a slice of the pie.

Beckham reportedly wants Steve Bruce in Miami

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He’s got the same initials as South Beach, you know?

Steve Bruce is being tipped to be the first manager of David Beckham’s Miami MLS outfit, according to The Sun.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup ]

It’s going to be some time before Bruce would have the opportunity. The 56-year-old former Manchester United star has Aston Villa in a Football League Championship promotion push, and Miami does not even have a start date for life on an MLS pitch.

Of course, managerial life tends to be short, so there’s no guarantee Bruce will have a job at any point during the build-up to Miami in MLS. And several expansion clubs have named their coach very early in the team building process (Jason Kreis and Bob Bradley amongst others).

Bruce on MLS’ parity-driven playing field, if not as one of the big spenders, would be intriguing to watch. He’s a terrific man motivator and has the connections to combine with Beckham to make something special happen in terms of personnel.