Beckham reportedly set on Overtown site, to officially announce Miami expansion team, yes I know you’ve heard this before

Never mind, David Beckham is still dead-set on building a new Miami MLS stadium in Overtown, so you can forget those reports that maybe he’ll reconsider building next to the Marlins‘ stadium or on a floating island in the Atlantic or something:

In an interview with Channel 10’s Glenna Milberg aired Sunday, the soccer legend acknowledged the rough road to announcing what his partnership is billing as the definitive end to his stadium quest: MLS approval of Beckham’s Miami franchise, and plans for a 25,000-seat stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.

“It’s been painful at times,” he said in the Channel 10 interview. “I’m a persistent person. I don’t like to lose.”

Yes, it must be painful to be a fabulously rich and famous guy who points to a spot on the map and says “I’ll take that one” and then is told, no, you can’t have that one. And then picks another site, but it turns out there’s people living there who don’t want to move. And then settles on a third site but … I actually don’t really get what’s holding up the third site other than that there isn’t much parking, but whatever, feel this guy’s pain, will you?

Beckham has a news conference set for noon today at which he’ll reportedly finally be announcing that he got his expansion franchise approved to start play in 2020, at least if you believe the promos being run during yesterday’s Barcelona-Alavès broadcast, though it’s also not entirely clear if that “approved” is 100% locked down. And the team would still need a place to play temporarily until a new stadium is complete. Maybe this Miami MLS saga is finally coming to a close, but I won’t entirely believe it until I see the team suit up — or at least until it gets a name, so I can finally replace “Miami MLS expansion team” as my category tag for this whole mess.



31 comments on “Beckham reportedly set on Overtown site, to officially announce Miami expansion team, yes I know you’ve heard this before

  1. Wow so much hate for a guy who paid for land at market price, will privately financed construction and pay property taxes. The sites we’re recommended by the slime politicians and you should know that. Just like the privately built stadium in Orlando the hate continues even when the whole mess wraps up.

    • Is there a medal we can give Beckham for “meritorious service in the line of accepting that he’d have to build his own damn stadium once the city and county kept telling him where to shove his initial plans”? That seems awfully wordy.

      • Since day one he promised to pay for land at market value, pay for construction and pay property taxes. All while the Heat & Dolphins we’re receiving and continue to receive subsidies from the same county you claim told him to shove it. Why do good looking people get so much hate , I have the same problem.

        • The $100-125m discount on expansion fees should help with that, but yes, they have said they will pay for the stadium AND pay taxes. I’ll remain skeptical on both claims until it’s actually done, but even if they pay 80% of all costs, it’s still a much better deal than most cities have entered into.

          • They also promised to spend 100m on a academy. That would require additional land & investment.

          • Beckham’s original waterfront stadium plan would have required $200 million in rent subsidies, so not quite “market price”:


            The current plan isn’t bad at all in terms of money, I agree.

          • Academy. So kids can major in soccer in high school. America honestly needs more of that, eh?

            He earned his stake by his deal with MLS. But his lack of skin in the game is pretty telling. Quite similar to Jeter’s situation with the Marlins.

          • Gee, he did take care of the $150 mill expansion fee on his own. I guess you’ve seen the ownership agreement to argue that isn’t contributing anything else. Perhaps being who he is might have a monetary value ? Some academies also provide after school tutors and a place for kids to get exercise until their parents can pick up after work. Yes America does need more of that from all sports leagues. Ha ha

          • Wait, what? Beckham got his expansion team for $25 million, as part of the terms of his Galaxy contract. That’s the whole reason this thing is happening at all.

          • That option was worth $25m in 2007, I would argue that option is worth $150m. If MLS had 12 2nd tier cities in line ready to write checks for $150m. Surely the same would happen in Miami without Beckham. Just because he got it for $25m doesn’t mean it didn’t appreciate in value like everything else since 2007. It’s the reason why articles in 2007 speculated that his compensation package would eventually be worth 250m. He didn’t make anything near that in playing wages.

          • “Gee, he did take care of the $150 mill expansion fee on his own.”

            He wrote a check for $25 million.

          • The other owners in MLS felt that even though they would sell to Beckham at 25m his ownership stake needed to reflect current expansion price of 150m. Todd Brothly didn’t reflect the same thinking in his ownership agreement. Therefore the other owners refused to award franchise.

          • Beckham probably actually saved some money in his career, but in deals of this type—the “partners” usually have the clout and the cash. Or maybe the promise of cash.

            As I said, he earned the option, but saying he “contributed” $150m says he could have taken the option and bought groceries or car washes.

          • Only a handful of athletes get endorsement deals, Beckham, Jeter & Jordan learned early from savvy lawyers to use as little of their own money as possible. Like I said before the other owners weren’t going to let a shark come into the league on the cheap. Beckham ownership percentage needed to reflect the current going rate 150mil….!!!!

          • An Academy isn’t a public service… it’s a method of developing the club’s own players (just like in every other footballing country).

            The reason clubs run academies is entirely self serving. Players can be developed and then either rise to the “big club” or be sold for profit. Many will not reach either level and will simply be released.

            Regardless, it’s research and development for the football factory. Is Ford’s R&D department a public service?

          • I agree, but many MLS academies produce players who then go on to play college soccer & get an education. MLS also has an agreement with a university where players that choose an MLS career can still get an education if the soccer career fails. Pressure is starting to build on Europe clubs to provide more to their kids. Jack Harrison is a good example of the growing trend of academy prospects going to American college to get an education and going into MLS to revive their dreams.

          • That academy stuff is all fine and good. If a guy wants to major in soccer it really is none of my business. However, I think this falls well under the standard of “public good.”

            I don’t really understand your point on Beckham. He has an option for a team, which he may actually have a stadium site for (not really confirmed). The stadium deal might not be a stupid as some other MLS stadium deals, which means the stadium may actually be built for watching the game and not buying steaks or t-shirts during the 90 minutes of the game.

            The option is not fungible, not divisible, and not transferrable (right away), so I’m not really clear why he could be considered as “contributing” $150m when any intelligent partner would see right through that. The option has no value outside of acquiring the right to operate a football team in a single-entity structure.

  2. “And then settles on a third site but …” *

    *This is actually his fourth site. His original plan was a stadium in the Port of Miami which was sunk by the cruise ship industry.

    • Seems appropriate, since the cruise industry does know a thing or two about sinking after all.

  3. “I don’t like to lose”
    Hmmn. Maybe owning an MLS franchise isn’t for you then…

    I expect Beckham will eventually get the franchise up and running, then sell it to his partners (or someone else) so he can (finally) cash in on the discount he received on the expansion fee.

    I am assuming MLS was smart enough to prohibit him selling for at least a few years after the club finally takes the field?

  4. … And being totally honest, when he said “there was only one city for me…” I think we all know that the city he was talking about was New York, but MLS told him he couldn’t have it… so…Miami.

  5. I think the Wrigley Field site is about 9 acres, also. It’ll never happen, but I’d love to see ol’ DB build something similar with a big upper deck overhang and catwalks.

  6. Keep wondering if MLS is clandestinely sabotaging the Beckham bid because letting him have a team for $25 mil is making me the $150 mil current fee look excessive (which is is, regardless) or because he’s being a relative Boy Scout about the whole “shaking down public officials for your own selfish benefit” thing.

      • It’s possible they might be working against him behind the scenes a little.

        Of the two possible reasons I’d have to think #2 is way more important to MLS than #1. One can argue that, as the option was negotiated as part of his MLS contract, he did actually “pay” for the franchise (though they were going for about that price at the time, let’s not forget. Toronto paid $10m, the next expansion franchise I believe paid $20m, and pretty soon it was $40-50m) through playing for LAG for five years or whatever it was.

  7. Top 3 league teams are selling for one billion plus. The NHL just sold hockey in the desert for 500mil. Prices can be relative. Based on demo’s, trends and the latest Gallop poll, 150m is perceived as a bargain by big money investors that look at investment opportunity objectively.

    • Prices are absolutely relative. Prospective investors get much, much less in terms of resale value or distributed revenue streams from an MLS or NHL purchase than they do from NFL, MLB or NBA.

      While Vegas has started out very well in the NHL, there’s no guarantee that this level of support will continue. We’ll have to see where the club is in 5 years (when renewals are due and the novelty of hockey has worn off. Also, the VGK will have their share of bad legacy contracts then too, which they currently don’t).

      Even given their present level of success though, we need to keep in mind that most NHL teams make less than $10m annually in net profit. Several still lose money on operations, keeping their heads above water only with taxpayer funded arena ops and revenue sharing from the rich clubs (mainly the top 8/10 in revenue).

      Even if the Knights double that amount of profit for their first 3 years, that’s less than a 5% ROI on the expansion fee alone, nevermind the operating costs of the club (probably in the $100-110m range, not sure where they are vis the salary cap).

      If the club earns $20m a year net over the first 10 years of operation, it might, just might, beat the return on Treasury bills over the same period.