By FRANCO PANIZO
Things are about to get a little more serious in Miami.
David Beckham, MLS commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez are hoping to hold a news conference in the South Florida metropolis next Wednesday in an effort to rally support for a privately funded soccer-specifc stadium and give an update on the status of an MLS expansion team in Miami, according to a report from the Miami Herald.
Gimenez has reportedly confirmed the date of the news conference and added that another related event could take place on Tuesday night. He also said that during a three-hour long meeting on Tuesday with Beckham’s group, Miami Beckham United, a timeline was set to complete negotiations by the end of the summer, regardless of if a stadium plan is in place or not.
Miami Beckham United presented Gimenez with 30 sites they had scouted for the potential construction of a 25,000-seat stadium during that meeting, but the mayor said only five of those are viable options. Beckham’s preferred location on the waterfront lot in PortMiami is one of those as is another county-owned parcel near Marlins Park in Little Havana and the Miami River.
Beckham’s team, which has not yet been named, would reportedly begin playing in MLS in 2017 and not 2016 as had previously been hinted at by the global icon and former player.
Beckham has long been linked with bringing an MLS team back to Miami at a discounted expansion rate of $25 million. Miami has been without a franchise since the league contracted and removed the Fusion back in 2001, but MLS has recently taken a confident stance regarding a potential return there.
Garber said earlier this month that an announcement of sorts would be made in early February, which could mean that Beckham will finally formally announce his Miami expansion bid. Beckham has publicly expressed interest in landing a Miami MLS team, but has not yet officially launched his campaign to do so.
What do you think of Beckham and Garber’s plan to try and rally support for a SSS in Miami? Crossing your fingers that a stadium deal in PortMiami is reached? What would you like the club’s name to be?
Share your thoughts below.