Miami-Dade mayor: Overtown site 'last opportunity here' for MLS expansion

David Beckham's ownership group and its multi-year quest to bring an MLS expansion team to Miami appears to be in do-or-die territory.

At a town hall meeting Wednesday night in the Overtown neighborhood where Beckham's group is attempting to secure land to build the stadium that would pave way for a franchise, Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez offered a path to finality–for better or for worse.

“This is, frankly, I believe our last opportunity here for Miami to have Major League Soccer,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald.

Beckham's Miami MLS partner Tim Leiweke presented plans and a case for the privately-funded 25,000-seat stadium to residents at the town hall, unveiling a new stadium rendering the revealed an open-air venue by the Miami River.

The stadium, according to The Herald, wouldn't open until 2021 at the earliest, meaning the potential franchise may have to play at a temporary venue first. Beckham's group must acquire a nine-acre parcel of land from the county before any stadium can be built, and it brought in an additional investor, Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, to increase its funding and finish off the deal. The stadium will not have parking facilities, and Beckham's group has reportedly promised to create 50 permanent jobs, half of which would be required to pay the county's $15/hour living wage.

“We’re going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing,” Spencer Crowley, a lawyer and lobbyist for Beckham's group, told The Herald.

The club would reportedly also arrange for boat and bus shuttles to and from the river and nearby parking garages.

Beckham has come under increased pressure to deliver on his bid, with MLS insinuating that it would go another way if it had to after giving Beckham ample time to do what was necessary to land a team and exercise the ownership option that was built into his contract.

“We’ve all reached agreement, he included, that we’ve all put in an enormous amount of time and money and energy into getting something finalized," MLS commissioner Don Garber said recently at a meeting of APSE editors. "And we all agree it’s time to either move forward or not. And that time is upon us. It’s not a specific day, but that time is upon us."

The league isn't short on options, as it has 12 cities vying for four places after Beckham and Miami secure their prospective place.

Miami

David Beckham's ownership group in Miami has released a rendering for a stadium in the Overtown neighborhood, the latest desired site for an MLS expansion bid that kicked off in 2014.

Portland Timbers

The Timbers are adding 4,000 seats as part of a $50 million renovation to Providence Park.

Portland Timbers

The Timbers are adding 4,000 seats as part of a $50 million renovation to Providence Park.

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta United will share Mercedes-Benz Stadium along with the Atlanta Falcons in a state-of-the-art venue.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Minnesota United

2017 MLS expansion team Minnesota will eventually move to its new soccer-specific venue in St. Paul.

Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic has been pushing hard for an MLS team, with Don Garber acknowledging the USL side is one of the leaders of the pack for when the league expands to 28 teams.

Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic has been pushing hard for an MLS team, with Don Garber acknowledging the USL side is one of the leaders of the pack for when the league expands to 28 teams.

Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic has been pushing hard for an MLS team, with Don Garber acknowledging the USL side is one of the leaders of the pack for when the league expands to 28 teams.

Los Angeles FC

LAFC has broken ground on Banc of California Stadium at the site of the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.

Los Angeles FC

LAFC has broken ground on Banc of California Stadium at the site of the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.

Los Angeles FC

LAFC has broken ground on Banc of California Stadium at the site of the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.

Los Angeles FC

LAFC has broken ground on Banc of California Stadium at the site of the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.

Los Angeles FC

LAFC has broken ground on Banc of California Stadium at the site of the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City will be moving from Camping World Stadium to its new downtown stadium in 2017.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City will be moving from Camping World Stadium to its new downtown stadium in 2017.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City will be moving from Camping World Stadium to its new downtown stadium in 2017.

Orlando City SC

Orlando City will be moving from Camping World Stadium to its new downtown stadium in 2017.

D.C. United

D.C. United is aiming to put an end to a seemingly never-ending quest to move out of RFK Stadium to its own venue and it claims it will begin play at Audi Field at D.C.'s Buzzard Point in 2018.

D.C. United

D.C. United is aiming to put an end to a seemingly never-ending quest to move out of RFK Stadium to its own venue and it claims it will begin play at Audi Field at D.C.'s Buzzard Point in 2018.

Potential St. Louis expansion team

St. Louis's MLS expansion bid has picked up considerable steam, with Don Garber confirming it's one of two, along with Sacramento, in the lead for spots 24-28.

Potential St. Louis expansion team

St. Louis's MLS expansion bid has picked up considerable steam, with Don Garber confirming it's one of two, along with Sacramento, in the lead for spots 24-28.

Potential St. Louis expansion team

St. Louis's MLS expansion bid has picked up considerable steam, with Don Garber confirming it's one of two, along with Sacramento, in the lead for spots 24-28.

Potential Detroit expansion team

A group led by NBA owners Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores is aiming to bring MLS to Detroit with this downtown venue.

Potential Detroit expansion team

A group led by NBA owners Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores is aiming to bring MLS to Detroit with this downtown venue.

Potential Detroit expansion team

A group led by NBA owners Dan Gilbert and Tom Gores is aiming to bring MLS to Detroit with this downtown venue.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their plans to launch an aggressive bid for an MLS expansion spot, full with these renovations to the existing Al Lang Stadium.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their plans to launch an aggressive bid for an MLS expansion spot, full with these renovations to the existing Al Lang Stadium.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their plans to launch an aggressive bid for an MLS expansion spot, full with these renovations to the existing Al Lang Stadium.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their plans to launch an aggressive bid for an MLS expansion spot, full with these renovations to the existing Al Lang Stadium.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced their plans to launch an aggressive bid for an MLS expansion spot, full with these renovations to the existing Al Lang Stadium.

Potential San Diego expansion team

The group behind San Diego's push for an MLS expansion team revealed its plans for a shared, 30,000-seat stadium with the San Diego State University football team on the site where Qualcomm Stadium currently stands.

Potential San Diego expansion team

The group behind San Diego's push for an MLS expansion team revealed its plans for a shared, 30,000-seat stadium with the San Diego State University football team on the site where Qualcomm Stadium currently stands.

Indy Eleven

The NASL's Indy Eleven emerged as a late contender for MLS expansion, becoming the 12th bid to be submitted to the league.

Phoenix Rising FC

USL's Phoenix Rising FC aims to snag one of MLS's four expansion berths with this stadium and training field complex.

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