Miami is finally getting its own MLS soccer. The news came in mid-February that retired European soccer star David Beckham was awarded his major-league franchise after a long four-year battle with local leaders for a possible site.
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“It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a press release. “With David Beckham, Marcelo Claure, Jorge and José Mas, Masayoshi Son and Simon Fuller leading the way, we know the right people are in place and the time is right for Miami to become a great Major League Soccer city. This ownership is committed to bringing Miami the elite-level soccer team, stadium, and fan experience it richly deserves. We look forward to working with the entire organization on a strategic and successful launch for Miami’s MLS club.”
Beckham and the group behind the team won approval to build a proposed 25,000-seat soccer stadium on the western edge of Overtown. Though their authorization has been granted, they still have some regulatory hurdles to overcome. These obstacles include land-use changes, rezoning, and the permanent closure of a road that has a busy intersection. Also, final approval depends on environmental review and a hearing conducted by board members of elected officials. This hearing is set to open to the public. Since the soccer stadium is being fully financed by private funds and won’t be backed by tax dollars, the public is very supportive of the stadium’s site.
“Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep,” David Beckham stated during the press conference that was held to announce the proposed stadium site.
Beckham’s road to making MLS in Miami wasn’t easy. His original plan was to have a site next to Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena. Due to the potential to have catastrophic effects on Downtown Miami’s traffic and the enclosure of a bay view, the plans were scrapped. Beckham and his group then sought a site next to the Miami Marlins’ stadium. Those plans were also scrapped due to the foreseen horror of too much traffic in the area. The proposed Overtown site for the stadium is less densely populated.
“I love soccer,” head of Talent Acquisition for RMG Staffing Vanessa Yepes stated. “I grew up watching soccer so having our own team makes me so proud to live in South Florida.”
So how will MLS impact us in Miami? The first thing it will do is boost our local sports scene. Miami has a large number of residents from Latin America who love soccer. Having a team of our own will allow us to combine the love we have for our community with the love we have for soccer. The second major impact MLS in Miami will have is the improvement of the local Overtown area. For decades, city leaders have been weighing options to how they can improve the Overtown area. The proposed site will bring jobs to the local community and bring other businesses such as restaurants and create a much-needed nightlife that will also benefit the new condo developments in the area.
“Our pledge to our fans in Miami and around the world is simple: your team will always strive to make you proud on the pitch, our stadium will be a place that you cherish visiting, and our impact in the community and on South Florida’s youth will run deep,” Beckham went on to say at the news conference.
Since the MLS site isn’t finalized, Beckham and his group have the option to continue to seek other locations in the city. Latest reports from the Miami Herald suggest the group is also looking into the Pepsi distribution center in Doral, the city golf course near Miami International Airport and land inside Hialeah Park and Casino. No matter what they group eventually decides, get ready Miami MLS is definitely coming to our wonderful city.
For more details, visit MLS Soccer’s Website.
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