Miami officials to Beckham: Build stadium or get off the pot already

No, David Beckham still hasn’t figured out who’s going to finance his proposed new MLS arena in Miami yet. And yes, Miami officials have noticed, and are starting to wonder how long they should be expected to wait on this stadium plan:

“How long are we going to negotiate for the use of that [county-owned land] before we decide that maybe that ought to be made available for some affordable housing?” Commissioner Xavier Suarez asked Monday during a meeting of the county’s Housing and Social Services committee. “Are we going to wait for these folks forever before we use that property for something more?”

He’s got a point! As does commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose district includes the proposed stadium site, and who griped that the commission has gone months since last hearing from Beckham’s ownership group: “Are they bringing a stadium there? I haven’t heard anything.” Team Becks, meanwhile, has resorted to having their PR firm defensively tweet that they hope to have a team in place someday, maybe:

It’s not entirely clear what the holdup is, but “no banks think that investing in a soccer stadium in Miami just because a famous guy would run the team is a hot idea” is a likely candidate. There’s no reason this standoff can’t continue forever — or at least until Beckham loses interest or MLS runs out of expansion franchises to dole out, and the latter seems likely to happen never — so gird yourself for more of these headlines for the foreseeable future.


15 comments on “Miami officials to Beckham: Build stadium or get off the pot already

  1. A part of town with tons of subsidized housing and little private money investment. Yes let’s get tough on the only team not asking or receiving city money. Beckham knows the location sucks and doesn’t want to use his own money building this thing.

    • Loria is the reason space wasn’t left available for a soccer stadium the way the mayor wanted. Also all the fine print basically robbing and soccer team from selling naming rights outside or inside their private funded park. Only solution is an owner situation like with Yankees and NYCFC.

  2. For large projects like that it isn’t unusual for months to go by without any real updates. And unless there are guys standing around hammers in hand to start on the affordable housing what is the rush?

    All that being said: MLS isn’t going to survive with 30+ teams so all these new teams had better make sure they’re viable so they’re some of the ones left when the inevitable contraction comes. (Assuming the whole league doesn’t go under.) It’s not sound business to make expansion fees the main component to league finances because that can’t go on forever. But MLS doesn’t seem to understand that.

    • We’re going on Month 16 now:

      • Beckham isn’t spending any of his own money, that is for sure. (Check out those hacked email where he was griping about charities asking him for a few bucks for proof of his not wanting to open the pocketbook.) Thus, until he finds some partners willing to foot the bill or gets a handout there is no reason to expect any updates.

        Would YOU want to personally fund an MLS stadium looking at how many cities are supposedly imminently going to have teams? The optimist would say “growth!” but the realist looks and sees oversaturation and a league with no plans for financial viability beyond expansion fees.

      • Problem MLS has is that Beckham’s lawyers don’t believe there is a deadline. So this can go on indefinitely. Don’t see MLS going to court on this. MLS will just have to skip Miami.

      • Well, MLS did give him an option to purchase a franchise for $10m as part of his Galaxy contract (or an attachment to same, at least).

        I seem to recall that option did have an expiry date, one that he met by paying for the franchise. Whether he has a deadline on when it must play I don’t know, but I would imagine he could satisfy that by making a deal to play at an existing stadium and then force MLS to either veto (and extend his deadline) or accept it.

        MLS may not have the leverage it seems they would in this instance.

  3. The name of the potential team is Miami Beckham United? Jesus H. His ego is off the charts.

    Miami will end up with a team anyway. If I lived there and cared about MLS, I would be rooting against Beckham.

  4. I’ve been following MLS expansion for years now, and I know they want a soccer specific stadium in Miami and for all new expansion cities. But this waiting game in Miami is beyond ridiculous now. Just let Beckham start off playing in Marlins Park, and see if they can be successful. If not, then he can fold or move the team, and he won’t have sunk his stadium cost. Look at NYCFC. At first, I’m sure we all thought it was ridiculous that they were allowed to start play in Yankee Stadium. Well, there’s still no SSS, but the Yankee Stadium plan doesn’t seem so bad after all. In Miami, I’d rather see something started than nothing at all.

  5. “no banks think that investing in a soccer stadium… is a hot idea”

    If it’s a really dumb, money-losing idea… isn’t that what taxpayers are for?