By FRANCO PANIZO
David Beckham’s dream of bringing an MLS team to Miami has taken another step towards becoming reality.
Beckham and South Florida soccer fans received good news on Tuesday as Miami-Dade County voted unanimously in favor of passing a resolution that will allow mayor Carlos Gimenez to negotiate a location for a soccer-specific stadium with the global icon’s ownership group. Gimenez will also analyze the feasibility of development of a stadium and finalize agreements with all the necessary parties.
A handful of possibilities have been brought up as potential destinations, with PortMiami being the reported favored choice by Beckham and his group, but nothing has been finalized. No tax payer money is expected to be used in the construction of any stadium for Beckham’s club.
MLS commissioner Don Garber said recently that having a stadium plan in or around the downtown area was crucial for bringing an MLS team back to Miami, where the Fusion played from 1998-2001 before the league contracted. Garber also said during halftime of the MLS Cup Final that an expansion announcement could come soon.
Beckham is reported to have until the end of the year to claim an expansion team at a discounted rate of $25 million. Beckham, Garber and MLS have refrained, however, from confirming or commenting on that publicly.
The former England international has said he would like his team to begin play in MLS by 2016 and all signs point to it having to initially play at a temporary venue before moving into its permanent home.
MLS, which plans on adding three more teams to bring its total to 24 by 2020, announced last month that it would return to Florida in 2015 when Orlando City enters the league as an expansion team.
Excited by the news that Miami-Dade County voted unanimously to negotiate the location of a soccer-specific stadium with Beckham? Think we’ll hear an announcement from his ownership group before the end of the year? Where in Miami would you like to see the team play?
Share your thoughts below.