MLS Team In Miami One Step Closer As Beckham Heads Back To S.Fla.
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Major League Soccer in Miami is one step closer to becoming reality. David Beckham is coming back to South Florida for what’s sure to be a star-studded affair amid plans to bring his pro-soccer team to Miami.
Beckham, his investment group and MLS Commissioner Don Garber will be in Miami on Tuesday and Wednesday to drum up support among local leaders and youth soccer clubs.
They will also be attending an invitation-only reception on Tuesday. CBS4 has obtained the invitation to the exclusive reception at the Adrienne Arscht Center at which time Beckham is expected to rally support from politicians and release more details about a Miami MLS team.
“I think they’re gonna announce either Tuesday night or Wednesday that Major League Soccer has selected Miami for a franchise,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez. “They’re going to have to woo us a little bit more than just an invite.”
On Wednesday, a press conference is planned at the Perez Art Museum. Later that day local youth soccer players will be able to meet Beckham at a meet an greet at Kendall Soccer Park, according to the paper.
Commissioner Suarez received an invite and said he is all for the deal and what it means for Miami.
“This is what attracts the whole world to Miami, so as far as I’m concerned they’re welcome to come here,” said Suarez.
Beckham is currently in negotiations with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the commission in order to lease county-owned land for a 25,000-seat stadium.
According to the paper, Beckham’s preferred spot is a waterfront site by PortMiami.
Last month, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said Thursday he would probably make and announcement concerning their potential expansion franchise in Miami and David Beckham in early February, according to mlssoccer.com.
The announcement came a little less than a week after Beckham along with his investors made another move to establish a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami by hiring a Tallahassee lobbyist.
According to the Miami Herald, lobbyist Brian Ballard was hired to help the group who plans to seek state funding for a Downtown Miami stadium.
Ballard will work on behalf of Miami Beckham United to seek a state sales tax subsidy similar to what other professional sports teams across the state get.
“We’ve been retained to make sure that Miami Major League Soccer is treated like every other professional sports team in the state,” Ballard told the Miami Herald.
Ballard would not specify how much the group would request.
In December, Beckham won unanimous approval from Miami-Dade County commissioners to start negotiations with Mayor Gimenez over the potential stadium sites under the condition the group does not ask for local money.
Since a stadium plan is still pending, MLS hasn’t awarded Miami a team but Beckham’s shindig is the latest sign that Miami Major League Soccer is one step closer to becoming a reality.
“That’s the feeling I have that they have chosen Miami,”said Suarez.