Beckham takes major step toward Miami MLS franchise with land deal

Tricia Pearson
June 7, 2017

Miami-Dade County commissioners approved the transfer of three-acre land worth $9 million to Beckham's company, which is reportedly to launch its MLS team by 2021.

Although entering into an agreement with the County today is a major step, the Beckham group will need to take further action before the contract is binding and construction on the land can begin, including working with the city of Miami.

Among other hurdles, that process that will pit the retired soccer star against opposition from residents in the adjoining neighborhood of Spring Garden, who are warning of major disruption from Major League Soccer's arrival.

According to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the funds from the $9,015,000 purchase will be for the Water and Sewer Department, which now owns of the piece of land.

"This land has been an eyesore for years.Something needs to be done with it, now", Commissioner Audrey Edmonson of Overtown neighbourhood said, according to ESPN FC.

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"[The group has] assembled a world-class team of partners, presented a vision for building the premier soccer club in the Americas, and assembled the land needed to build our stadium". And now, all that's left is for Beckham to win MLS approval for his Miami franchise. The question for me is: Is this zoning appropriate for a stadium there?

"I am delighted we are getting property taxes".

But Hardemon is skeptical as on that front well, adding: "I don't believe that, necessarily, a stadium will revitalize an area. You can't say the same thing for the [NFL's] Hard Rock Stadium, and that's been there for decades".

"Miami already has championship-winning teams, such as the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins and Miami Marlins", Gimenez said. The city has been without a soccer team since 2001 when the Miami Fusion ceased operations after just four seasons due to poor ticket sales. The city is also now home to Miami FC, which began play in the second-tier NASL previous year, playing home games at Florida International University. With David Beckham's MLS set to be placed in Miami, rumors are strong regarding the former football superstar and his wife Victoria Beckham shifting base to Miami. In a pair of tweets, Donovan wrote that "we have to respect the process" and that "just because we're down at halftime doesn't mean we stop trying".

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