Deal for Beckham's Miami soccer stadium land gets approval

David Beckham's dreams of building a Major League Soccer stadium in Miami reached a breakthrough yesterday as he sealed the final phase of a $28 million (£22 million) land purchase.

The 9-4 vote by the the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners gives the consortium a total of nine acres on which to construct a football-specific 25,000 seat stadium in the Overtown neighbourhood of the south Florida city.

David Beckham is a step closer to finally being able to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami.

"I firmly believe that the sale of this property, as well as the subsequent soccer stadium, will leave a lasting positive impact on the community", Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.

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That makes an MLS team in Miami a very good deal for Beckham - which he has a great incentive to see through.

A contract he signed in 2007 with the Los Angeles Galaxy gave Beckham the right to start an expansion franchise for $25 million, and in 2013 he picked Miami as where he would want to put a team.

Miami Beckham United already paid $19 million for six other acres of land needed for the stadium and it would be privately funded with the stadium being subject to county property tax. This was mainly because he was unable to get waterfront land that his group first coveted for a stadium site. He formally announced Miami's expansion bid in early 2014. "We need time", Beckham attorney Neisen Kasdin told commissioners.

Miami Beckham United also must get formal MLS approval for the Miami team - it was always contingent on a stadium deal - and finalize ownership and stadium financing deals.

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The late afternoon wave will bring the best chance as the threat will remain through the evening into early Sunday night . The chance for scattered rain and thunderstorms will building in the afternoon hours staying mainly south of US 50.

"This land has been an eyesore for years".

Commissioner Danielle Levine Cava, another no vote, said she applauded Beckham's group for encouraging fans to use public transit instead of driving - but questioned why MLS didn't make more of a commitment to improve decaying Metrorail and bus facilities in the area.

Now Beckham must win approval from the city of Miami to actually build the privately financed venue.

Many residents went before the commission to urge against the stadium being built in the city's Overtown neighborhood.

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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