Beckham Lobbies Florida Leaders On Subsidies For Proposed MLS Stadium
David Beckham "hasn't given up on the idea of state subsidies" for his proposed MLS stadium in Miami, and to prove it, he traveled yesterday to Tallahassee to "meet with Gov. Rick Scott, along with House and Senate leaders," according to Kathleen McGrory of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Beckham said the meetings were "very positive," and added of the process, "I know that it's going to be fair and I know that their decision will be what's best for the state." Beckham and his "team of lobbyists are supporting a legislative proposal that would enable professional sports franchises to compete for sales tax rebates for construction and renovation projects." Beckham said that he "is not asking for any special handouts." He added, "We just want the support that every other franchise, ever other sports team has. ... I'm in it for the long haul. I know we are going to make Miami proud to have a stadium" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/26). Meanwhile, Univ. of Miami AD Blake James yesterday said that he has laid out the school's "needs to the Beckham group" in order for UM and Beckham's MLS team to share a stadium. James said in order for UM to break its Sun Life Stadium lease, the school would "need to have no less than 40,000 seats and ideally not more than 50,000 seats." He added, "You’d have to have a place that’s attractive and accessible for our fan base to get to and from the games, to park at the games and sit in a stadium that gives them a great experience." However, James said that he is "excited about the possibility of improvements at Sun Life" (PALM BEACH POST, 3/26).