Despite multiple delays, the Major League Soccer organization is still counting Miami into its expansion plans.
MLS President and Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott said at a conference on Wednesday that the league will add two teams this season in Atlanta and Minnesota, Los Angeles in 2018 and Miami possibly in 2019, joining as the 24th market, according to the Miami Herald.
Abbot said the league is focused on finalizing a stadium deal in Miami, and confirmed that Miami will be the 24th team.
His statements follow commissioner Don Garber’s in December who said that it was time to reach a conclusion with David Beckham and his partners, who are missing land and financing backing for the project. Garber said “I remain a big believer in the importance of Miami to extending MLS’s reach to south of the border and to connect with a very diverse and culturally important city in our country,” the Herald reported.
Beckham plans to build a $150 million, 25,000-seat stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, a project that has already spurred new real estate deals and developments. But to move forward, Beckham’s group needs to close on an additional 3 acres owned by Miami-Dade County and is also reportedly looking for investors. Miami Beckham United paid $19 million earlier this year for 6 privately owned acres.
If they don’t finalize agreements, the Overtown site would mark the fourth time in roughly three years that Beckham’s group failed to make it work. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis