On Thursday, the MLS Board of Governors reportedly voted to authorize commissioner Don Garber and a committee of owners and league executives to finalize the process that will grant David Beckham’s investment group, Miami Beckham United, an MLS expansion franchise.
While speaking to reporters at a news conference during the MLS All-Star Game festivities earlier this week, Garber gave his vote of confidence, saying that “we believe the time is right, finally, for Miami to become a great MLS city.” Beckham and the investment group’s newly found majority owner, Todd Boehly, made a presentation on the group’s plans for the franchise, including a $300 million, 25,000-seat stadium project in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood.
Garber spoke positively on Beckham and Boehly after their first meeting with the group of owners. “David is passionate, articulate, and focused, and Todd is a great, young sports owner and business executive who has got a great vision for our league.”
Prior to the meeting, it was thought that the vote would be the final approval for Beckham’s group. However, it appears that that vote moves them just one step closer to that goal; that being said, Garber is confident that the deal will get done. “We’re not announcing MLS Miami today, but I am confident we’ll be able to do that, perhaps by the end of the summer. We’re at the finish line. Now we’re one foot closer to it, but not quite over it. But we’re getting really, really, really close.”
There have been several hurdles that have stopped the Miami United dream from becoming a reality. The group is still seeking approval for zoning changes from the City of Miami in order to go ahead with its stadium project. This hasn’t proven easy, as residents in the nearby Spring Garden neighborhood have shared their displeasure over the plans. On top of that, the group must address a lawsuit from local landowner Bruce Matheson, who is seeking to block Miami-Dade County from selling off a three-acre piece of land to MBU, after that sale was approved back in June.
Even with these roadblocks, this most recent vote is a sign that Beckham’s three-and-a-half-year journey to bring a MLS team to South Florida may finally come to a close soon. The franchise hopes to take the field in 2020. “Everything is in place for us to do everything we need to do over the next couple of weeks (or) perhaps 30 days, to work with them to move forward,” said Garber.