Miami, Beckham group agree to build MLS stadium

Proposed stadium to be built next to Marlins Park

MIAMI - The dream of Major League Soccer returning to South Florida moved a step closer to reality Friday morning.

After an early morning meeting involving Mayor Tomas Regalado, the city of Miami and David Beckham's ownership group have agreed to build an MLS stadium.

The proposed stadium will be built on a parcel of land next to Marlins Park in Miami.

"Today's meeting with Mayor Regalado was another positive step toward bringing a world class soccer club to Miami," a Miami Beckham United representative said. "We're still in the early planning stages and several viable options still exist, but our preferred stadium location is the former Orange Bowl site."

Since he was granted ownership rights to an expansion team by the league, Beckham has long desired to return the MLS team to South Florida.

The group originally desired a stadium to be built on a waterfront site in downtown Miami, but after city officials denied those options, Beckham began to look further inland.

The English soccer icon toured Marlins Park itself as a possible site for a new team in 2014.

Marlins Park was originally considered undesirable by Beckham, with one of his business partners even going so far as to call the site "spiritually tainted" by the financing deal that had taxpayers footing the majority of the stadium's costs.

Past stadium talks included a possible partnership with the University of Miami to find a home for its Hurricanes football team that currently plays their games 25 miles away from campus at Sun Life Stadium.

But a university partnership was not discussed in Friday's meeting.

South Florida has been without an MLS team since the Miami Fusion folded in 2001 after four seasons of play.

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