It took four years, but Major League Soccer appears ready for a high-profile launch of a David Beckham soccer team in Miami and the event is scheduled for Monday.
Though Beckham and partners, including new recruits Jorge and Jose Mas, have already secured stadium land in Overtown and the league has granted tentative approval of the plan, a formal deal hadn’t been cut as 2017 came to a close. Now Beckham’s group and the league appear to have finalized the details needed to announce MLS approval of a Miami franchise, and dignitaries are readying for a large public event on Monday to welcome the team.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, whose administration negotiated a deal for the Beckham partnership to purchase three acres of county land in Overtown, is planning to attend an event on Monday, said spokesman Michael Hernández. Beckham representatives declined to comment, but privately people close to the soccer bid say the tentative plan is for a Monday announcement. Scheduling issues could bump that to Tuesday, the sources said, but the current plan is to hold a public event Monday with Beckham in attendance.
Beckham was last in Miami for an event with Gimenez in early 2014, when he hoped to secure a stadium deal with the county-owned Port Miami. The cruise industry blocked that effort, leading to failed bids for stadiums at the Miami waterfront and next to Marlins Park in Little Havana. The Overtown site sits a few blocks from the Miami River, where Northwest Sixth Street meets Sixth Avenue. The 25,000-seat stadium would be privately financed.
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Bruce Matheson, a wealthy landowner near the stadium site, is suing to overturn the no-bid county deal and other neighbors are organizing to block the zoning approvals needed by the city of Miami to build the $200 million stadium.