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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.

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