It had been 17 months since David Beckham and MLS officials announced a future MLS team in the city of Miami with Beckham as an owner. Back then, they didn’t have a deal for a new stadium and things seemed to be getting testy among fans and MLS. Now, after all this time, a tentative deal is finally in place for Beckham to build the stadium next to MLB’s Marlins Park.
It had been reported that the stadium would be privately financed and that same sentiment was reiterated by partner and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. The stadium will remain privately financed. The issue was that land was needed to build the stadium and that can take just as much time to get approval of than asking for taxpayer money.
Beckham had originally wanted to have the team play in downtown Miami beside the NBA’s Heat American Airlines Arena but that was a no-go due to local opposition. Another location on Dodge Island was also scrapped due to fears from businesses on the island that it would hurt transportation for cargo ships.
After some plans about partnering with Florida International University or Miami University to share a facility, it looks like Beckham settled on the site next to Marlins Park but has the benefit of not having to share it with a football team.
All the “I’s” still need to be dotted and all the “T’s” still need to be crossed before they can break ground but this is the biggest step Beckham has taken since announcing the team 17 months ago. Now that they have the location in place, now they can go to City Commissioners for the next step. There’s still a long way to go but in a best case scenario, MLS will be back in Miami for 2018.