Soccer

It’s time to resolve Beckham’s stalled Miami bid, MLS commissioner says

David Beckham announces plans to bring MLS team to Miami

Soccer icon David Beckham officially announces plans to bring an MLS team to Miami on Feb. 5, 2014.
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Soccer icon David Beckham officially announces plans to bring an MLS team to Miami on Feb. 5, 2014.

In his strongest statements to date on the subject of David Beckham’s stalled quest to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, league commissioner Don Garber said on Friday that a decision “has to be made this year,” or they will look elsewhere.

“I believe in the Miami market,” Garber said in New York City at a meeting with several of the nation’s sports editors. “There’s never been a successful international market that wasn’t a successful MLS market.”

But, he said, Beckham’s group has yet to fulfill the requirements necessary to have an MLS franchise – proper financing, a viable stadium plan in place and a solid ownership group.

Beckham announced his intentions in Miami three years ago to much fanfare, but the plan has since fizzled at three would-be sites and a parcel of the current site in Overtown is still being negotiated.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez suggests that county land slated for a David Beckham soccer stadium be used to provide affordable housing instead.

In the meantime, Atlanta and Minnesota franchises joined MLS this season, and a 23rd team is scheduled for 2018 in Los Angeles.

“A decision has to be made this year,” Garber said. “David knows this, it’s time to move forward or not, and that time is upon us.”

If Miami falls through as the 24th team, it would open up a spot for one of the many teams vying to join the league.

Venezuela Relief Drive: Miami FC’s Saturday night game against North Carolina FC is themed Venezuelan Heritage Night. The team will host a relief drive to help the Venezuelan community. They need baby formula, protein bars, diapers, canned food and cold medicine. Bins will be placed outside the gates of FIU’s Riccardo Silva Stadium beginning at 5 pm.

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