SOCCER

David Beckham group expected to meet with Broward County about stadium

 
 
David Beckham prefers a site in Miami for a soccer stadium but his group is now open to speaking with Broward.
David Beckham prefers a site in Miami for a soccer stadium but his group is now open to speaking with Broward.
WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Though David Beckham’s group has made clear that Beckham wants his proposed MLS team to play in downtown Miami, Broward County commissioner Stacy Ritter told the Herald on Thursday that the team has now expressed willingness to speak to Broward County about a soccer-specific stadium.

Ritter said Brian Ballard, one of the team’s lobbyists, conveyed that Beckham’s group is now willing to listen to what Broward officials have to say. Those talks are expected soon, she said.

It’s too soon to tell the level of the Beckham group’s interest in this idea, but at least they told Ritter that Beckham & Co. are open to considering it.

Ritter said county-owned land near the Panthers’ arena (BB&T Center) would be a “great fit” for the stadium.

“Beckham’s group was very unhappy with the parcel that Miami-Dade wanted to provide,” Ritter said. “We’re easier to deal with than the county to the south.”

Beckham’s top two choices for a stadium – the Port of Miami site and the boat slip site next to AmericanAirlines Arena – were both rejected by local government officials, and Beckham’s group has said it’s not enthusiastic about a site near Marlins Park because the land is “spiritually tainted” in the wake of the Marlins’ controversial ballpark deal.

Beckham’s group has said it’s assessing its options regarding Miami.

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