Day care center wants $30m from Beckham for stadium land, things get even crazier from there

We now know exactly how much the owner of a day care center on the proposed site of David Beckham’s new soccer stadium wants for his land:

According to Miami-Dade County property appraiser records, the property was assessed in 2015 for $368,000. But the owner is demanding a whopping $30 million.

That’s, um, yeah, a lot.

There are two possibilities here: Either the owner of Candy House Day Care (because nothing says “your children’s health is our concern” like “candy house”) doesn’t want to sell and is just putting out a ridiculous price to see what happened, or is hoping to extract a huge payday from Beckham knowing that the stadium can’t be built around him. Or can it?

“They could build around some of those properties,” Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said Friday following a meeting with Tim Leiweke, an equity partner of Miami Beckham United. “That would be Plan B.”

That would also be crazy, given that the site already seems awfully small for a soccer stadium. Though, hey, kids love to play soccer, right? Maybe there’s a solution here that could save Beckham on player salaries too, if you catch my drift.


51 comments on “Day care center wants $30m from Beckham for stadium land, things get even crazier from there

  1. This is basically the repeat of the drawn-out saga between Orlando City and a community church on the would-be stadium’s footprint, sans the threat of eminent domain being used (as of now, anyway).

    It seemed obvious in the church’s case that they simply didn’t want to relocate, regardless of the price; I suspect this is also the case with this daycare center.

  2. Unlike in Orlando, though, in Miami there’s no site one block over that they can move the stadium to.

  3. All this Miami drama. Meantime, should MLS give the Sacramento Republic FC the green light as a new franchise, their stadium project looks as if its ready to go.

  4. @jcpardell – I don’t believe that all the financials have been released on the Sacramento project. According to their site they are still in the design phase. http://www.sacrepublicfc.com/football-club/built-for-mls-sacramento/operation-turnkey/#.VkIkAWPJaH0

  5. Its definitely in the planning stage. However, the missing component is admission from MLS as a new franchise. Once that occurs, I’m certain we’ll know more. As someone previously mentioned, the property is already privately owned by a development group which has made the new stadium part of the entire urban infill project.

  6. MLS should definitely award Sacramento a new franchise, regardless of what Miami does. Sac fits the same model as these successful smaller markets with soccer specific stadiums: Portland, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Columbus, & Orlando. I think the only reason Sac hasn’t been awarded a franchise already is their proximity to San Jose and MLS’s strategy to try to cover more regions of the country. If you live in NorCal, you would know that Sac & SJ are 2 distinct markets, and they would form a nice rivalry, like Portland/Seattle.

  7. Majority of fans and people in Miami and throughout South Florida, and even ownership, do not really want their stadium at that site anyway. Wherever the alternative site is should be the focus.

  8. Re: Sacramento: I’m not sure that “As soon as we get a franchise, we’ll figure out how to pay for a stadium” qualifies as “ready to go.” I mean, that’s where Miami was a couple of years ago, no?

  9. Well, why shouldn’t the Daycare owner follow the standard sports-cartel business model and say “this is what we need and it’s up to the rest of you to figure out how to give it to us”?

    It seems to work really well for franchise owners, doesn’t it?

    The other issue I would point to is the fact that a daycare service (or place of business) and land has an assessment of $368,000 does not automatically mean that that is it’s actual fair market value. If the land is presently zoned as whatever the Florida/Miami equivalent of Community Service rather than the commercial or perhaps “special” zoning it would more normally be classified as, then it is not being assessed at highest and best use of that parcel (which is fairly common for public service uses of land and buildings).

    Whether or not the business is designated a non-profit can also impact it’s taxation status (non-profits in most districts can apply for partial or complete exemption from municipal taxation). That said, this should affect the tax status and not the assessment itself.

    If, on the other hand, the parcel and improvements are zoned standard commercial as they would be for any other type of business located there, then $368,000 it is….

  10. Neil, Is there a way for us to block comments from individual users, in my case jcpardell? Every single post on this site re: soccer includes the same biased comment or two from this person that adds zero to the conversation.

  11. I could add a site rule that repeated off-topic comments will be deleted. I’ve been hoping to avoid doing so, but I’ll do so if this keeps up.

  12. How was what jcparnell said irrelevant? He was saying how much of a screw-up Miami has been and the league should be looking at Sacramento, which seems to be much more squared away. That seems very relevant to me, seeing as we’re talking about said Miami screw-up. Very confused by the negative reactions to his comments.

  13. Eric, Check other posts on this site. jcparnell posts the same comments on every MLS related post with zero new info. This commenter is a cheerleader for a team and the related hope for a new stadium without providing any details because the club doesn’t have any yet.

  14. Thank you, Eric Brown. Its precisley what I’m trying to say. The MLS is so hot on Minnesota and Miami, yet neither has a comprehensive plan for building a stadium. This being the case, it begs the question as to why the MLS will keep extending the deadlines for both franchises when they can’t seem to get their stadum plans in order. If one city appears to have a shovel ready project, with a franchise that has a track record of success, its evident that would be the path of least resistance for MLS. In my opinion, its a waste of time.

  15. Once again, “shovel ready” is a gross overstatement. Depending on what you’re shoveling.

  16. Maybe with Sacramento MLS feels like there may be other boring cities with corrupt mayors that could be a better fit?

    I would say, at the risk of being dull, that Sacramento may not be a great fit because it has very little corporate presence to buy season tickets and other premium ticketing–the city is dominated by state government, which typically wants free tickets but doesn’t often buy them.

    So whether or not the lower level team gets a few thousand to come may not be truly relevant to taking a step up. Kind of like when Buffalo was getting a million-plus to AAA baseball but never got a sniff at MLB.

  17. As Kevin Johnson stated (in regards to the corporate presence), ” fair question.” However, not many MLS teams rely on luxury boxes to provide massive revenue quantities for their stadiums. In fact, its becomong a turn off for many fans. For example, its painfully obvious that Levi’s Stadium was constructed with the purposed of pleasing wealthy corporate buyers at the expense of the real fan experience. As a result, Levi’s Stadium has been viewed as a disappointment.
    What Sacramento has to offer is: a) a dedicated sports fan base b) a proximity further away from San Francisco Bay Area & Santa Clara Counties c) a population of nearly two million residents (much greater if you factor the neighboring counties) d) an abundance of land.
    Thus, I believe MLS shouldn’t have any concerns about Sacramento. Any issues regarding distance to the Earthquakes should be irrelevant. San Jose and Sacramento are 120 miles apart from each other. I don’t see one franchise affecting the other.

  18. So back to Miami – I envision that this Day Care operator will cave if the soccer group decides to build around them. I am not from South Florida, but politicians have set this area aside for soccer ever since the Marlins stadium was approved. I believe that the only reason an MLS team was not awarded then was due to a lack of ownership.

  19. I am very confused that jcpardell thinks the Sacramento plan is “ready” when the other places he listed are not. Does he own the land it will be built on or something. I don’t mind the irrelevant spam as much as outright lies.

  20. In comparison to the “other” MLS stadium plans, Sacramento is more ready given the land has already been allocated for the stadium as part of a development project. The general location of the property is part of an urban infill project (the largest downtown project in the country) which will consist of multiple components (Kaiser Permanente has signed on as the first major tenant). The developer, Downtown Railyard Venture, LLC, is anticipating the soccer stadium as part of the project http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article25494463.html.

  21. San Diego is a better option than Sacramento after the Chargers move to LA. We have the site and SDSU football needs a new venue. Our voters are dumb enough to throw in all the tax breaks and probably a small amount of funding. What’s going on with LAFC?

  22. My own experience reading this site (and going to MLS games) indicates a few things about MLS:

    1. They like expansion fees. A lot. And they haven’t read NASL histories.
    2. Their owners really like free land that they can develop and profit from–outside of the stadium.
    3. Their owners are aiming at cutting edge cities with youngish fan bases with lots of disposable income.
    4. They don’t make much from TV rights, particularly since #1 keeps watering down shares.

    I’ll buy that Sacramento is a “legitimate” market overall. But the “fan experience” doesn’t really matter that much to these guys. They want arenas that they can charge a lot of money to youngish professional people who like soccer and have the disposable income to spend a lot of money. So I’m not saying a stadium needs to be like Levis–but MLS wants a crowd with income like the Bay Area, Portland, DC, and Seattle.

    Citing the number of people in the metro area doesn’t really matter, just as the number of people from other parts of the world doesn’t do much for MLS either (anymore). It’s the number of people in the metro area who don’t mind spending $75-90 on a soccer ticket.

    Bonus points for #2–giving free land for development in hot urban areas is a big draw for MLS. They really don’t care how you come up with it, but they kind of expect it. See DC for this one.

  23. Your points are all well taken. However, there seems to be this frequent contention that people in Sacramento don’t have money to spend. Actually, the median income level of a Sacramento County resident is closer to most of the cities you mentioned, with the Bay Area being the only exception. Its evident the people will be spend money if they have a reason to spend it. Up until they’ve had frequent losing seasons, the Sacramento Kings continuously sold out their arena. The minor league baseball Sacramento Rivercats are the highest draw in AAA. And the Sacramento Republic FC have consistently sold out their games at Bonney Field. Many attendees at A’s, Giants, 49ers and Raiders games are Sacramento residents. If the issue is can Sacramento support an MLS team, I believe the demographics will prove it can.

  24. I am anticipating a million dollars in my car trunk in the morning, what has that got to do with anything? Land is nothing compared to money. The two are related, but unless you have some source of subsidy the mls could give two shits about land or sacramentos dexisedly average market. What is it 40th, but without a corporate base?

  25. I agree with GDub: MLS doesn’t give a squat about your market size so long as you have an expansion fee check and a solid stadium plan.

    I have no doubt that Sacramento will get a franchise eventually, but I also have no doubt that pretty much every city will get a franchise eventually.

  26. MLS is expanding to Miami because the TV ratings and demographics. As for Minnesota MLS is desperate for Midwest locations that have history of soccer support. MLS already have 3 teams in California so Sacramento will have to wait.

  27. MLS is expanding to Miami because it promised David Beckham a franchise in exchange for playing out the string with the Galaxy, and Beckham wants Miami.

    Minnesota snuck in because the United group had a check and what looked like a solid stadium plan until Mayor Hodges spoke up about the property-tax breaks, which are almost never a point of contention elsewhere. But hey, when you’re expanding every year, might as well hand out franchises like candy — if it doesn’t work out, there’s always another city to redirect them to.

    It’s the new American Basketball Association model, which works out terribly for the individual teams, but really well for the league officers collecting the franchise fee checks:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Basketball_Association_%282000%E2%80%93present%29

  28. So would Beckham possibly be the “Spirits of St. Louis” in your MLS-ABA scenario?

    Maybe Beckham’s looking for a MLS franchise opportunity “in perpetuity”.

  29. No, not that ABA. The new ABA that I linked to above — the one where anybody with $20,000 can have a franchise, no questions asked. I tried to go see the Brooklyn team last year, but it was evicted from its home court before the game took place.

  30. If Neil agreed to rename all articles “ways in which the marginal to non-existent Sacramento plan is less marginal or non-existent than all the other potential MLS expansion plans”, then we could actually get back on topic. Maybe that is the only way we could get back on topic now that I think about it…

    It seems Garber has been pretty clear that he wants Miami back in. Then again, he’d love franchises in rural New Mexico and on Brett Favre’s farm in Mississippi if there was an expansion fee and public money for stadia involved too. As I recall Beckham originally asked about a NY team when he signed his weird contract with Lalas and the Galaxy, but ultimately NY was excluded from locations in his option to purchase a franchise… hence his love for Miami iguess.

    IF the prospective franchisee in Miami has actually offered 2-3 times FMV for the land the daycare sits on (and we only have Leiwieke’s word that they have…) it’s a good offer and likely considerably more than the owner would get in an eminent domain expropriation.

    But, as ever, when you own something that someone else wants (or maybe desperately needs), you tend to do really well. Let’s not forget that it is only a couple of years ago that some idiot paid $4.2m for the Batmobile… which even it’s creator thought would bring in less than $400k.

    Given what we are told the future of South Florida is, maybe Miami would be an ideal location for the floating stadium NY discussed a while back…

  31. I should point out that I really don’t care where MLS puts more teams. As a soccer fan, it seems clear to me that Garber’s goal is to sink the whole enterprise just after he cashes in his shares. Which really is a shame, as it seems like this time they had something good going.

    That said, while Sacramento is surely a nice place it sounds like a lot of minor-league cities that do a great job supporting a local team while not in any way being a contender for something bigger.

  32. Yes your right Beckham chose Miami… Because of record World Cup ratings and demographics. Garner is desperate to increase TV ratings and therefore his race to increase the leagues footprint which stands at 24. If they go beyond the 32 teams other leagues have then yes they are being greed.

  33. The television ratings argument isn’t very strong. Miami has the 16th largest media market in the country while Sacramento’s is 20th.

  34. @ Steven, I’m not sure what rival league you think there is, MLS is at the top of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.

    @ jc, what ranking or list of cities are you using to come up with those rankings? This; https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_United_States_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas lists Miami 8th and Sacramento 27th for example.

    I don’t happen to think there is one list anyone can point to as definitive, for example, Denver doesn’t just draw TV viewers from Metro Denver but all of Colorado and even some surrounding states. I don’t have a dog in this fight but it would seem Sacramento TV viewers would mostly come from Sacramento and Reno while Miami TV viewers would come from all of South Florida which would skew the numbers even more in Miami’s favor.

  35. What TV viewers (I know the quality is getting better and viewers grow slowly but . . .) Doesn’t the MLS have the 4th best TV ratings of any soccer league (let alone other sports)?

  36. @ Alan P. Your right but 2008 the NFL thought about setting up a rival to put MLS out of business. With there billions that would have been no problem. Garner needs to make his moves keeping in mind the possibility of what if a rival league pops up. its why only billionaires get in.

  37. Many of the teams in MLS are owned by NFL teams, so I do not anticipate any rival league being propped up by NFL owners. There is no rival league to MLS. NASL owners may have ambition but they are not rivals by any stretch of the means.

    Here is the latest on the Miami MLS stadium developments.
    http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/article44506281.html

  38. @ Luis. Yes , but in 2008 there only two. When the NFL decided not to pursue that idea many came calling to MLS , EPL and also Spanish & Italian football to a much lesser extent.

  39. I used the Nielsen report. I believe they’re the top consultant for television rankings and their markets.

  40. I don’t know why you are worried about TV market size. 20th or 27th doesn’t really matter, as MLS is not making money from TV rights. Best they can hope for at this point is more exposure, preferably the teams with old/fat famous players, to get more buy in.

    I’d be more worried about # residents making 90k a year or more. Or some measurement of corporate strength.

  41. At the moment, MLS doesn’t have the TV ratings of the professional sports leagues in this country. However, it doesn’t mean that will be the case a few years from now. Soccer is the most viewed sport in the world. In the USA, it is the fastest growing sport. The greatest viewership is from the Latino community, which happens to be the fastest growing ethnic group in our country. In California, they will soon be the majority population. Sacramento has a very large Latino population who will follow the Republic whether at the games or via television.

  42. You would have to assume the longterm strategy of MLS includes making money from television eventually since that is where the majority of money is made in top level sports. Surely the amount of potential TV viewers has to be a consideration.
    And yes, I know that suggesting MLS has a longterm strategy sounds like the set up for a punchline.

  43. Splendid. However, the question isn’t whether MLS will put a team in Sacramento, Dubai, or Rome–it is whether it will put a team in Sacramento or another (North) American city.

    So assuming that folks in Sacramento are generally as interested in soccer as most other cities–we’re not talking about a difference of billions or millions here. So I’d say you might want to look at comparative factors that do make a significant difference for the League or the owners as a whole.

    Again, I’m sure SAC is lovely. But the case you are trying to make is that there is enough wealth and interest in the region to make a 2nd pro team hugely financially successful (in a broad sense). You’ve not done that

  44. @GDub – at the risk of being accused of placing an “off-topic” comment (since this thread is ostensibly about Miami), I’d just like to point out that Sacramento Republic would not be getting a “2nd pro team”, if it is the Earthquakes that you are thinking of as the “1st pro team”. Completely different media market from San Jose to Sacramento, comparative distance is from Philly to DC – and nobody would have accused Philadelphia Union as being a “2nd pro team” under DC United for the folks in Eastern PA.

    The main question in my mind is why MLS is insistent on placing a team in Miami at great expense to the rest of the MLS ownership (discounted franchise fees come out of all owners’ pockets evenly), even though it has failed in MLS, and failed twice in NASL before that.

  45. I believe that is what’s confusing so many out there who are unfamiliar with California. Sacramento is located 120 miles away from San Jose. It doesn’t make sense to state either will conflict with each other’s market. That’s similar to stating the Sacramento Kings should leave the area because of their close proximity to the Golden State Warriors.

  46. I took “2nd pro team” to mean sports franchises overall. I.e., is there enough population and corporate presence in Sacramento to provide enough business for both the Kings and and MLS team. (To which I would say 1) probably and 2) enh, though it’s not like MLS really gets all that much corporate support anyway.)

  47. In regards to population, Sacramento County is home to nearly 1.7 million residents. If you factor in the neighboring counties, the population increases to nearly 4 million. As for corporate presence, that remains a challenge. However, it depends on the expectations of the ownership group. There is no rule stating your title sponsor has to be local. For example, the current stadium title sponsor for the Oakland Coliseum is Overstock.com. They are headquartered in Utah. This being the case, there is nothing preventing the Sacramento Republic from obtaining a title sponsor from outside of the regional domain.

  48. I did indeed mean 2nd pro team in the city.

    There are probably enough people in Sacramento to go to games at a decent level. However–as I previously stated, MLS seems to be trying to reach youthful cities with high disposable income and (when it can get it) valuable real estate. Corporate strength is often an indication of disposable income (i.e. Portland and Seattle), and in mature leagues is a source of easier (in theory) ticket selling.

    So it is more than being “interested” in soccer or even having a “shovel ready” stadium plan–it is a competition between cities on relative merits as determined by whatever the owners/commissioner want at a given time. Cities that are largely dependent on state jobs (outside DC, anyway), may not offer that. Talking about a fan region of 2 hours and expecting fans to regularly drive for 90 minutes to 2 hours to a soccer game is not reality (the Revolution have suffered with this for a long time–entirely their fault, mind you).

    But that said, I really have no idea what this league is up to. Making a pattern of Chivas, Miami, NY/NJ, and Minneapolis leaves me confused.

  49. My apologies for the misunderstanding, GDub.

    As to whether or not Sacramento could support a MLS team at the gate, I would suggest that the attendance statistics of SRFC provide a pretty decent answer. Routinely getting 11K+ per home game for a third-division team generally does not happen unless there’s some pretty good grassroots support in place – arguably far better than what exists in Minnesota or Atlanta or Miami, probably better than that of Orlando. However, those cities have scads of corporate bucks to throw at the marketing geniuses, which is something that Sacramento lacks; SRFC’s success has been largely word-of-mouth and new media marketing (Twitter/Facebook). The question going forward is whether MLS would take a chance on a “people’s club” approach – which has already proven quite successful in Portland, by the way.

  50. As it applies to Sacramento, I believe corporate sponsors are taking a wait & see approach. If MLS were attempting to reach a youthful audience with money to spare, they would had the Earthquakes move to San Francisco. That assertion has a whole lot of contradctions. Most of what I’ve seen, in terms of attendance for MLS matches at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, and the StubHub center in Carson, are parents with their kids. If that is the benchmark audience, there is no short supply in Sacramento. Travel accommodations for a downtown Sacramento MLS facility couldn’t be any more logistically perfect. The area is accessible via freeway. light rail and train. If state jobs can offer something that others can’t, its the fact you have a work force with greater job security. That brand of stability is something they should factor into their equation.