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Beckham Close to Finalizing MLS Expansion to Miami

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Photo: Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

David Beckham’s plans to establish a Major League Soccer club in Miami is nearing a successful end, according to MLS commissioner Don Garber.

“Their plan was very well received by our owners,” said Garber after Beckham and investor Todd Boehly presented the specifics of their expansion plan to a meeting of MLS owners. Garber revealed that those owners subsequently voted to authorize him, MLS president Mark Abbott and the league’s expansion committee to “finalize the details with respect to Beckham’s plan.”

Said Garber: “Everything really is in place for us to do what we need to do over the next couple of weeks, perhaps 30 days, to work with them to move forward. … We’re not announcing MLS Miami today, but I’m confident we’ll be able to do that perhaps by the end of the summer.”

According to The Miami Herald, Beckham, Boehly and their partners recently purchased a three-acre parcel for $9 million and now hold nine acres in total.

“First and foremost is league approval,” Tim Leiweke, the former LA Galaxy and Toronto FC executive who’s also partnering with Beckham on the project, told the Herald. “The next step is introducing our ownership group to Miami and getting going with the city on zoning, which I believe we’ll get through.”

Miami would be the league’s 24th club (No. 23 Los Angeles FC enters in 2018), and the commissioner said MLS remains on track to identify teams No. 25 and 26 following its December board meeting. Sacramento Republic remains favored to earn one of those bids, and Garber said the USL club’s decision to begin preparation work at its stadium site last week “was a great move on their part.”

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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