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David Beckham’s consortium secures MLS backing for stadium site

By Tom Walker    07 Dec 2015
David Beckham first launched his bid to own a MLS franchise in 2013

Former England captain David Beckham’s plans to establish a new football franchise in Miami, Florida, are a step closer after Major League Soccer (MLS) approved stadium plans for the project.

The Beckham-led consortium of investors – called Miami Beckham United – is in the process of acquiring land in the city's Overtown neighbourhood and is planning to build a 25,000-capacity stadium at the site.

The choosing of the Overton site brings to an end a long-running search for suitable land.

Previous efforts to locate the stadium in Miami’s Little Havana district – adjacent to the Miami Marlins baseball stadium – were deemed "unsustainable" while initial plans to build the venue at PortMiami were also squashed at an early stage, thanks to severe opposition from existing port businesses.

Securing the Overton deal came just in time for the plans to be discussed and approved by a meeting of the MLS Board of Governors on 5 December.

Speaking after the meeting, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said: “We are very supportive of Miami Beckham United's plans to build a soccer stadium in the City of Miami's Overtown neighborhood.

"The group’s vision for a world-class venue within the urban core that is accessible by mass transportation is impressive, and we believe it will be an important part of the continued revitalization of the area.

"We look forward to working with David and his partners to finalize plans to bring MLS to Miami."

Background:

• Beckham’s partners in the consortium are Bolivian/American telecoms entrepreneur Marcelo Claure, former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chief executive Tim Leiweke.

• MLS' current expansion plans call for 24 teams by 2020. Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minnesota will join the league during the next three years, with Miami taking one step closer on to becoming the 24th team. In addition, MLS has engaged in discussions with multiple markets and potential owners regarding future expansion – and is currently evaluating the possibility of growing the league to 28 teams.

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