David Beckham spotted in Miami; could soccer stadium deal follow?
Miami-Dade County mayor says he doesn't have plans to meet with soccer star
MIAMI – David Beckham was seen arriving Sunday at a "Miami airport," according to the Daily Mail, leaving soccer enthusiasts to wonder if the soccer star is any closer to a stadium deal.
Brian Corey is co-founder of the Southern Legion, an organization of soccer fans who are building support to have Beckham bring a team to Miami. Corey said it's likely that Beckham is in town consulting on multiple public and private locations for a stadium.
Miami-Dade County Commissioners voted earlier this month to offer Beckham a stadium site near Marlins Park.
Of course, it wasn't Beckham's first choice.
Corey still likes the possibility of the old Orange Bowl site next to Marlins Park, but critics have long said that a soccer stadium would only create more congestion in the Little Havana neighborhood.
For soccer fans, Beckham's visit is fueling excitement.
The speculation got more intense over the weekend when Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber talked about the future of the sport in Miami.
"It's got to be the right stadium plan," Garber said. "Look, these folks have to sell out every game. And when you have the right stadium plan in the right environment, we have success. And we don't have that yet."
Garber said Beckham and his partners "are doing a great job trying to get it done. We'll be there in the next couple weeks."
Corey said it's "a great sign" that Beckham is in town and "an even better sign" that Garber is coming.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he hasn't seen Beckham and doesn't have any plans to meet with him.
Gimenez, who is a proponent of bringing Major League Soccer to the county, said the parameters haven't changed. Beckham and his investors have to pay for public land and the stadium.
"Hopefully they're looking for sites, hopefully they're looking at investors and have plans to build the stadium," Gimenez said.
Miami Beckham United released a statement Monday afternoon saying that "Miami is one of David's favorite cities and he has numerous business interests and friends here, so he visits as often as possible."
The statement went on to say that "plans are on course" to bring Major League Soccer to Miami-Dade County.
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