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Rejection of latest site in Miami leaves David Beckham’s MLS plans in limbo

Jun 10, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

Beckham, MLS Commish Don Garber and Mayor of Miami-Dade County get the deal done. AP

“Miami Beckham United will spend the coming months weighing alternatives,” is how a statement from Miami Beckham United concluded – ominous language from a group that was hoping to secure land next to the Miami Heat’s venue. Yet when the Heat tip off tonight against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals, the MLS soccer aspirant’s hopes of building a facility next to American Airlines Arena will be crushed.

On Tuesday, Miami’s mayor and city manager told the group that the location has been deemed “inappropriate” for a new stadium. From the statement, released jointly by Beckham Miami United and Mayor Tomas Regalado’s office:

“Miami Beckham United and City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado met today to discuss a path forward for bringing a Major League Soccer club to Miami. Mayor Regalado and the City Manager expressed their belief that the FEC slip is an inappropriate location for a soccer stadium.”

The statement also confirmed Bechkham’s group presented a spending-neutral plan to the city, though no negotiations took place. The mayor and city manager also affirmed “their strong desire to bring professional soccer to Miami.”

For Beckham, this is strike two, and it’s unclear when the next pitch will be made. The former Manchester United star’s group originally targeted a location in the Port of Miami only to see Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines come out against the deal.

A location next to the Heat’s arena could have been perfect, particularly considering the image within the community Beckham’s likely to cultivate. Ultimately, that was a no-go, too.

Now Beckham’s plans are limbo. There’s no viable downtown or waterfront location in view, and the prospect of going to the city’s outlying areas has never really been entertained by the group.

Over four months after exercising his option on an expansion team, Beckham’s group hasn’t taken step one toward securing a location. We’re still three years away from when the team wants to kickoff, but in the world of MLS stadia, everything’s easier said and one. Soon, 2017 will be right around the corner.

  1. turneresq - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Las Vegas FC? Miami seems to be overly hostile to Beckham, especially since there are no local funds going to pay for the stadium. I’d pack up and look at other cities, if I were him.

    • mvktr2 - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Team sports popularity is directly linked to betting action in american culture. I’d love for MLS to become more better friendly than other u.s. based sports and a Vegas team would be a big first step in that direction.

  2. mazblast - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    But how can MLS give Beckham a championship if he can’t even find a site for his team’s pitch?

    Oh, sorry, this isn’t the NBA. Perhaps the league office doesn’t decide the champion in advance based on marketing appeal.

  3. simonwelds - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Why not kick the marlins out!!! There the frauds that are messing things up for the dolphins and beckham

    • scoochpooch - Jun 11, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Great idea! These teams are only considered businesses when its advantageous to them. Otherwise, like any business that does poorly, you either close shop or move elsewhere. Relocate or contract the Marlins.

  4. thewalkoffktxt - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:26 AM

    Looks like it’s time to go to Fort Lauderdale, the suburbs…or Vegas.

    • ftlfan - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Fort Lauderdale is going to have a new stadium approved before Miami. Next Tuesday the 17th the City of Fort Lauderdale is expected to approve a lease agreement with the Schlitterbahn waterpark company, who will take over the old Yankees/Orioles spring training stadium and grounds and also renovate Lockhart Stadium. Before July 15th the deal is expected to be approved by the FAA, paving the way for a basically brand new SSS around 2016/17. A week ago the Fort Lauderdale Strikers drew 5,500 people(that’s better than several recent Chivas USA crowds) to the currently-crappy Lockhart with ZERO mainstream advertising or promotion. Renovating the place will be a game changer.

      Have fun with your wild goose chase in Miami, Garber. If you were smart you’d point Beckham towards someplace that actually WANTS a team. Not Miami that has had 6 professional teams all struggle and fold/relocate in 5 years or less. What’s more glamorous for Beckham? A team playing to sold out crowds in Indy or Sacramento, or a team in sexy South Beach Miami playing to a half-empty stadium?


  5. geojock - Jun 11, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Sooooo WHY was it inappropriate?

    • scoochpooch - Jun 11, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Good question, I was hoping the author would summarize why these venues are “inappropriate.”

    • mazblast - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      One reason I read is that the land in question is owned by the city but is under the port authority, with restrictions on the land usage that limit it to port purposes only. I don’t know whether this is true or not. I do know that Miami/Dade County politics are byzantine in the extreme, and that it takes a lot of “effort” (read: bribes) to get anything moving, and even when that’s done, the state requires even more “effort”.

      • mvktr2 - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        of course it’s the answer … government, you know the entity you pay an annual vigorish to in order for the right to ‘own’ land they can tell you what you can or can’t do on said land… what a racket!

  6. thehawg - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    What about Sun Life Stadium?

  7. granadafan - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    It’s clear Miami doesn’t want MLS or any other sports franchise. Thanks to the greedy Marlins owner who threatened/ blackmailed/ bribed politicians to force the taxpayers of Miami-Dade county to pay for their stadium, no new stadium will be brought to Miami in the next generation.

  8. gbart22 - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Listen your public politicians entered into those deals with loria on their own and to blame him is just ridiculous. If you owned a sports teams you would do everything you could to get a good deal too that benefits you and can we not act like every other major sports team owner who has sought public funds for stadiums hasn’t done the same exact thing! There are stadiums around the country that the public are still on the hook for even though we’ve already paid more money for new stadiums in the same market. Public funds just shouldn’t go for private enterprises like building stadiums I can see public funds being used to reroute public transport and roads to the place but that’s it otherwise the public always lose while the owners of those teams make out like gangbusters.

  9. atahualpaoxford - Jun 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Miami Beckham United…??? seriously..????
    Are they putting his name there for marketing purposes..???
    Otherwise…can we expect to see sometime in the future teams like : Pasadena Messi Stars…or Cleveland Cristiano Ronaldo Warriors…or Baltimore Rooney Bandits…???

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