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MLS Not Interested In Marlins Park Site For Miami Soccer Stadium

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Since making the announcement that he intends to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, David Beckham and his investors have been working hard to find the right area of land to build a brand new soccer stadium on.

While some politicians have started to promote building the stadium on an area of land next to Marlins Park in Little Havana, both Beckham and the MLS aren’t showing interest in building at that location, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

“No…we’re not considering that location,” MLS President Mark Abbott told the paper.  “Our strong belief is that, to be successful, it needs to be downtown.”

Going against elected leaders who seem to be getting more and more behind the idea of building at the Marlins site could make things more difficult for Beckham and his investors as they have been looking at public land sites for their mostly privately funded stadium.

The MLS may be against building in Little Havana now but that hasn’t always been the case.

Back in 2008 the MLS and the city of Miami were very close to making a deal at the former Orange Bowl site.  There was even a drafted agreement, though never signed, to send to city commissioners for approval.

At that time MLS Commissioner Don Garber had good things to say about then-Mayor Manny Diaz when the first plans for a new Miami baseball stadium were made.  Those plans included an adjacent soccer stadium next to the proposed ballpark.

“You’ve done an amazing job on this project,” Garber said in an email dated Dec. 12, 2007, according to the Miami Herald.

The plans to build a pair of stadiums on the former Orange Bowl land went as far as having architects sketching plans for the site along with attorneys including soccer provisions in ballpark agreements.

“Throughout the baseball stadium negotiations, soccer was a part of that, to be a sister stadium,” Diaz explained last week.

Discussions and plans for the two stadiums were never finalized and Diaz’s mayoral term expired later that year.  That was the last time there were any kind of serious soccer stadium discussions until now.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)

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