Soccer icon David Beckham’s pursuit of a downtown Miami stadium for a potential Major League Soccer team will face its first public political test next week.
A Miami-Dade County Commission vote scheduled for Tuesday would authorize Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration to identify possible stadium sites and negotiate construction contracts with any interested private developers.
That would begin talks in earnest between the county and Beckham and his investors, who have approached Gimenez about building a 25,000-seat stadium on public land on PortMiami’s Dodge Island.
Even if the seaport were to be deemed unsuitable, the legislation before commissioners would limit any other sites to downtown, an area of imprecise borders that both Beckham and MLS have identified as the preferred location to attract soccer fans.
“Success of MLS in this country has been due to urban, downtown locations” near people and public transportation, said Neisen Kasdin, a local attorney and lobbyist for Beckham’s investment group. “David and Victoria Beckham and sort of what they stand for is hip, urban cool.”