Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez has said land identified as the site for a stadium to house proposed Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise Miami United should instead be used for affordable housing.
Last year, an ownership group led by football icon David Beckham purchased the land in the Overtown area of the county with the intention of constructing an arena for the team. However, Beckham and his team are yet to agree a deal with Miami-Dade and the plans could be delayed until 2019.
Speaking at a meeting of the county’s Housing and Social Services committee, Suarez suggested that rather than being left unused, the land should instead be used for housing.
“How long are we going to negotiate for the use of that [county-owned land] before we decide that maybe that ought to be made available for some affordable housing?” Suarez said, according to the Miami Herald. “Are we going to wait for these folks forever before we use that property for something more?”
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez also told the newspaper that he is ready to push ahead with the sale of a three-acre vehicle depot at the site.
Beckham and his ownership group require the land to complete the stadium, but Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose district includes the proposed stadium site, said there has not been any contact about the project for some time.
Edmonson added: “Are they bringing a stadium there? I haven’t heard anything. They would have to get the residents in that area to agree to it. I’m going to follow the lead of my Overtown residents.”