All Aboard Florida – and ride the FEC rails again!
David Beckham’s initial stadium proposals for his Miami soccer franchise fell through in 2014, after MLS Commissioner Don Garber reiterated that the expansion would not be approved until a downtown stadium plan was secured. However, it seems as though the wheels are finally slowly moving on a plan that could see Florida establish its second MLS franchise.
A top executive behind All Aboard Florida has reportedly entered talks to help fund the 25,000-seat soccer stadium that former LA Galaxy star Beckham, wants to build about six blocks from the company’s new rail depot.
The ownership group, known as Miami Beckham United, is led by Beckham, his business partner and agent Simon Fuller, Miami-based Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure and American sports executive Tim Leiweke.
A keen and wealthy investor is key to Beckham’s ambitions to bring a MLS stadium to Miami. His efforts began in 2013 and went through a rigorous process of three bids to secure other sites, before the announcement late last year that the team’s chosen home was in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami – although the team initially expressed a desire for a stadium on the waterfront.
The Miami team is part of a MLS expansion plan that will bump the number of teams from 20 to 24 by 2020. Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Atlanta have already been granted expansion franchises.
Beckham received an option to own an expansion franchise at a cut-price fee as part of the contract when he joined the league in 2007. For all things soccer betting check out Betway, they have awesome odds on the MLS season and world soccer.
A partnership with All Aboard Florida would provide Beckham with a huge commercial and parking complex for a $175 million stadium with no plans for its own garages. The lack of on- site parking has been a constant concern from leaders such as Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez, while the Beckham consortium points to a nearby Metrorail station and the use of parking lots in the surrounding area.
Gimenez’s spokesman Michael Hernandez, described a potential All Aboard alliance as a positive step: “Mayor Gimenez is happy the Beckham group is looking to partner with a private company that has a history of investing in South Florida”
The new Brightline rail also would link Miami with the closest MLS city, Orlando, and would reinforce Beckham’s desire to establish a cross-state rivalry for the new team.