Clock ticking on Beckham’s struggle for Miami stadium
Beckham announced in February that he would exercise his option to become the owner of a new MLS franchise
David Beckham’s plans to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami are showing no signs of progress and league commissioner Don Garber said on Tuesday the process “can’t go on forever.”
Beckham announced in February that he would exercise his option to become the owner of a new MLS franchise in Miami but he and his partners have been unable to find political support for their stadium plans.
“Certainly this can’t go on forever,” Garber, who declined to discuss whether Beckham’s option could be switched to another city, told Reuters.
“It is a private discussion and relationship as it relates to the specific option and I am not going to get into those details, but by all means this is not something that can last forever.”
The MLS board of governors will hear a report from the league’s expansion committee on Saturday and Garber indicated that they would aim to make some decisions on new franchises in the first half of 2015.
The league will grow to 20 teams in 2015 with the addition of New York City FC and Orlando City FC followed by Atlanta and a second LA-based team in 2017.
Garber said MLS is looking to add at least three more clubs by the end of the decade and that he recently held talks with groups from Minnesota, Sacramento and Las Vegas.
“We have also been in discussions with San Antonio, El Paso and St. Louis, they are just not as far along for the next round,” said Garber.
The commissioner said, however, that Miami remained a goal for the league -- but only if the right venue is found.
“I believe Miami can become a great MLS market if we can put the pieces in place,” said Garber.
“The (Beckham) group continues to work to try and find a stadium solution that they believe will put them in a position to succeed. That is a difficult process and it is one that they continue to work hard on.”
Although politicians having blocked Beckham’s two proposed waterfront venues, Garber says he won’t be putting direct pressure on elected representatives to help the former England captain.
“We are not putting pressure on anybody. What we do is we communicate to the public and their representatives what is necessary for us to be successful and ultimately ensure that David can exercise his option in Miami.
“They are well aware of it now and there is not much more really that we can do now and we are not asked to do much more.”