Miami vote takes Beckham closer to stadium deal



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Inter Miami CF deal Image: Inter Miami CF

Soccer legend David Beckham’s long-planned stadium deal is now a step closer to reality.

Miami voters gave city officials permission on November 6 – in a vote the coincided with Florida’s midterm elections – to negotiate a no-bid lease deal with Beckham’s group, which wants to build a Major League Soccer (MLS) complex on what has been a public golf course.

Beckham’s group is also planning to have technology offices, a hotel and retail space on the land, in return for guaranteeing the city about $3.6 million in rent annually.

It’s not a done deal: Now the retired soccer star and his partners must negotiate the terms with city officials for the 25,000-seat stadium and transforming the rest of what is now the Melreese Country Club into a 58-acre (23-hectare) public park.

The victory in the vote was the first big one for Beckham’s club, officially named Club Internacional de Futbol Miami — or Inter Miami. Beckham has considered and wanted several other sites over the years, before turning his attention to Melreese in recent months.

MLS is targeting a 2020 launch for Inter Miami and Beckham said yesterday’s vote marked a big step in the group’s long-running plans to form a franchise in the Floridian city.

“I started this dream five and a half years ago…to bring a team to Miami, to bring a team to this great city,” Beckham said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “To bring a team to you, the people. We’ve had some speed bumps along the way. We’ve had a few problems along the way.”

He added: “We’ve proved to the world that persistence, patience, makes things happen. We are going to bring a championship-winning team. We are going to bring great players. We are going to create homegrown talent.”

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