David Beckham has walked away from the approval process to build a Major League Soccer stadium near Marlins Park, according to multiple local reports. The move puts the proposed stadium in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood into serious doubt.
NBC 6 Miami also reported that Beckham may instead explore a private venture in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami instead. Overtown is just northwest of Miami’s downtown and was once host to the now-demolished Miami Arena.
Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez confirmed to ABC-affiliate Local 10 that Miami Beckham United (MBU) and the proposed stadium deal has been taken off the city commission agenda for Tuesday. The Little Havana proposal was required to make Tuesday’s agenda in order meet a Dec. 10 deadline to get on a March ballot for a referendum on the overall project.
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"It’s going to be withdrawn from the next agenda because the Beckham group has not acquired the private properties that are needed to construct the stadium on that site," Suarez said.
"The residents expect us to hold these teams to the fire," Suarez said. "A lot of times they’re financed by wealthy people and they want some sort of a public subsidy, which is very controversial as well, which is why we were going to take it to referendum."
Beckham initially placed two bids for a downtown waterfront setting, but both attempts were unsuccessful.
The Miami Herald reported Beckham and Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho met in Miami Beach earlier this month to discuss the stadium deal with local governments.
The plan was for Beckham’s investment group to pay for the $200 million stadium on privately-owned land and parcels owned by Miami. The stadium and site would be transferred to the school system in order to shield it from property taxes.