Beckham and University of Miami discuss stadium partnership

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he likes the idea of a partnership

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David Beckham and the University of Miami are discussing a possible partnership for a new stadium for both Major League Soccer and college football.

Beckham was in town for a meeting Friday, and outgoing University of Miami President Donna Shalala has been involved in discussions this week. Among the locations being considering is a site near the old Orange Bowl, which has been torn down, next to Marlins Park.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he likes the idea of a partnership.

"It's a good idea, and it's something I brought up to the Beckham group a long time ago," Gimenez said.

The university declined to comment. Beckham's group plans to choose a site in the next few weeks and wants to move quickly after that, an aide to the mayor said.

One hurdle to the partnership is the Hurricanes' long-term contract for their current home, which is the Miami Dolphins' stadium. Another is the transition of the university presidency from Shalala to Julio Frenk, who takes over June 1.

Shalala has said the Hurricanes' current stadium is too large. It is being remodeled by the Dolphins and will seat 65,000 in 2015.

A stadium for an MLS team would seat at least 20,000, and perhaps up to 40,000 if the Hurricanes also played there. The site near Marlins Park would be much closer to the university campus and more convenient for students.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber also attended Friday's meeting. The league announced a deal with Beckham for a Miami team in January 2014, but finding a home has proved difficult, and there's no timetable for the franchise to join MLS.

Miami-Dade County commissioners offered Beckham a county-owned parcel near Marlins Park, but his group has had a strong preference for a downtown location.

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