David Beckham overcomes significant hurdle as dream of MLS franchise edges closer


David Beckham is expanding his empire, and now with a Major League Soccer (MLS) football stadium in Miami after a 9-4 vote by commissioners. For instance, resident Charlie Hand questioned why the county's sale price was $68 per square foot when Beckham paid roughly $300 a square foot for the privately owned acres next door past year. Beckham's group has said the cost of the stadium, which still needs to be approved by city planners, will be met by private investors with no public funds being used in its construction.

MLS had been losing patience with the drawn-out efforts in Miami, with commissioner Don Garber publicly saying this year that Beckham was running out of time.

The vote in Miami on Beckham's land deal was preceded by several members of the community urging commissioners to vote no, mostly citing noise and traffic concerns.

Under that deal, Beckham was granted the right to launch an expansion team for $25 million instead of the typical fee estimated at more than $100 million.

"By purchasing the last piece of land needed for our privately-funded stadium, Miami Beckham United (MBU) is achieving another major milestone on the way to Major League Soccer formally awarding Miami a franchise", read a statement from MBU.

"This land has been an eyesore for years". At a recent town hall at the Overtown YWCA, Tim Leiweke, who brought Beckham to the LA Galaxy and joined Miami Beckham United, had said the plan called for the stadium to open in 2021.

Miami commissioners approve sale of land to David Beckham ownership group

"We believe Major League Soccer needs Miami just as Miami needs Major League Soccer". The next step in Beckham's plan is to actually build the facility, which will be privately financed.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, chief architect of the sale agreement, hailed the vote as the conclusion to a "lengthy, difficult, but necessary" process to ensure county taxpayers were properly compensated.

"As far as sports deals go with the county, this one isn't so bad", Commissioner Joe Martinez said. All that was left was to buy the third plot of land from Miami-Dade County. The city is also now home to Miami FC, which began play in the second-tier NASL a year ago, playing home games at Florida International University.

The approval for a new stadium, however, comes with criticism from residents.

Information from ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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