By: Ismael Rodriguez
After ongoing hurdles with zoning, financial and legal matters that span four years, and nearly two months after receiving approval from county commissioners to buy the requisite land for a soccer stadium, David Beckham’s investment group is now closer than ever in bringing Miami its first Major League Soccer club.
Miami Beckham United’s proposed team was discussed last week at an owners’ meeting in Chicago during the MLS All-Star Game, which could have led to a brief discussion of the franchise or paved the way for a vote to approve it soon.
Not much was leaked from that owners’ meeting except for a comment by MLS commissioner Don Garber, who said “we are at the finish line” via a live video stream on the MLS Facebook page.
“We’re at the point where I think we are getting ready to make the decision internally to go forward,” Garber added in the video. “David will be here, will come to our dinner and perhaps pop into our board meeting and say hello. But it’s a vote.”
If Beckham receives league approval, it would be the final step before breaking ground on the much-anticipated 25,000-seat soccer stadium that will sit on a nine-acre property in the historically black Overtown neighborhood, north of the Miami River and west of downtown Miami.
Tim Leiweke, one of Beckham’s business partners, told the press in June that MBU looks to 2020 as its inaugural year in the league.
“The approval of Major League Soccer is by no means a given,” Leiweke told the press. “We believe that’s coming. We believe Major League Soccer needs Miami just as much as Miami wants Major League Soccer. You can’t have a successful league and not be successful in Miami.”