Further details have emerged regarding a new site for a stadium in Miami that would house the David Beckham-led Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise, with commissioners in the US city to consider opening up the proposal to voters.
The Miami Herald newspaper said commissioners will meet on July 12 to consider sending the question of whether Miami should change its laws to accept a no-bid deal that would lead to the development of a stadium at a golf course next to Miami International Airport.
The Herald said this move is evidence that Beckham and his business partners are no longer considering the land they own in the Overtown area of Miami for a new stadium.
In January, Beckham claimed victory in his long-running efforts to bring an MLS expansion franchise to Miami, but a number of question marks remained, including final details on the new stadium that will house the team.
At the time, the league said Miami’s team will play in a privately developed, 25,000-seat stadium in the city’s urban core. A nine-acre site in Overtown had been pinpointed but the Beckham group was said to have had private discussions about other potential sites.
The Herald reported that Miami voters in November could agree to let the city lease more than half of its only city-owned golf course at Melreese to the Beckham group, allowing it to develop a privately owned complex with a 28,000-seat stadium, one million square feet of tech-related office space and 500 to 800 hotel rooms.
The newspaper said a 39-year lease has been proposed, which could be extended to 99 years. The city would receive annual rent of between $4m (£3m/€3.4m), and the owners would pay taxes on the rezoned park land, which does not currently contribute to the tax rolls.