MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While reports continue to come out that international soccer icon David Beckham is ready to pick Miami as the home of a new Major League Soccer team; the reality is there are still several big hurdles to bringing MLS to Miami, the biggest of which may be where the team will play.
Last year, the Miami Dolphins made a very pubic push to secure some public money to help upgrade Sun Life Stadium. The plan died in the Florida House of Representatives, but even if it had passed the legislature; it didn’t appear to have the votes to pass by voters in Miami-Dade County.
Call it the Miami Marlins stadium effect, but people in South Florida are now loathe to giving any public money to help fund stadiums for professional sports teams.
MLS sources have previously said neither Sun Life Stadium nor FIU’s football stadium are ideal venues for a Miami-based MLS team. Instead, the league would likely want a soccer-specific stadium if at all possible.
A previous report from CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald quoted Italian financier Alessandro Butini as saying MLS wants an 18-20,000 seat stadium with covering for the fans that’s also FIFA compliant, has luxury suites, and top-end media facilities.
The cost of such a stadium is unknown, but, Orlando is building a new downtown stadium to attract a MLS team of its own and the plan is for the public will contribute $20 million in tourism taxes and another $84 million will come from the USL Pro League’s Orland City Soccer Club.
If Miami wants to build a top-notch facility, using Orlando as a base, the cost will be well over $100 million.
Beckham can start a franchise for $25 million and would likely bring with him multiple wealthy partners to help start a franchise in South Florida. If he has in fact picked Miami, as the Associated Press reported Tuesday, the process to secure the team will be underway shortly.
MLS sources have said in the past that a deal could be announced as soon as the end of 2013 if things come together correctly.
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