Dade county and the city of Miami have killed two proposals for a soccer stadium to be built in downtown Miami leaving David Beckham’s much-celebrated expansion franchise in danger of folding before it ever gets started.
This is the nightmare scenario for Beckham and his MLS franchise.
Technically, Beckham doesn’t actually have an expansion franchise until he can secure a downtown location to build a stadium and that is starting to look like it won’t happen.
MLS commissioner Don Garber made this point clear to Alexi Lalas.
“Miami remains a top priority for us. But we are mindful of the challenges we had in the past and must have the right ownership group and stadium location,” Garber told Lalas. “We remain focused on a downtown Miami location, and we will not expand to Miami unless we have a downtown site for the stadium.”
MLS previously had a team in the Miami area. However, the Miami Fusion played 30 miles north of downtown Miami, in Fort Lauderdale. That team folded after just four seasons.
Beckham’s Miami franchise hopes to begin play in 2017, so there is still time. But Major League Soccer wants 24 clubs in place by 2020. With the addition of teams in New York City, Orlando, and Atlanta, the league will be at 22 teams in 2017 and if the Miami franchise stalls much longer, the league will start looking elsewhere.
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