Beckham, Miami Hoping To Complete MLS Negotiations By End Of Summer
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez yesterday said that the group led by David Beckham attempting to purchase an MLS franchise has "set a timeline to complete any negotiations -- stadium or no -- by the end of the summer," according to Kaufman & Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. Gimenez said there are five "viable" stadium sites in the region of the 30 or so scouted by Beckham's group. He added that 10 sites "fell off the list entirely because they aren't available for construction." Favored among the locations for a 25,000-seat stadium is "a county-owned waterfront lot on the southwest corner of PortMiami." Gimenez said that also under consideration is "another county-owned parcel near Marlins Park in Little Havana and the Miami River, and three other sites "with public and private owners." Beckham, Gimenez and MLS Commissioner Don Garber "are targeting next Wednesday to hold a news conference in Miami to rally support" for the potential privately funded stadium and "bring South Florida up to date on the status of the plan" to bring MLS to Miami in '17. Gimenez said that there "could be another related event next Tuesday night." Kaufman & Mazzei note with negotiations "still ongoing, next week's news briefing will serve more as an 'If you build it, we will come' message." Garber and MLS officials "held similar news conferences" in N.Y. and Orlando before those cites were awarded teams (MIAMI HERALD, 1/29).