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David Beckham, investors hire Tallahassee lobbyist for Miami Major League Soccer push

@PatriciaMazzei

In their campaign to establish a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, retired footballer David Beckham and his investors have repeatedly pledged to stay away from public funds.

But that promise only applied to county dollars.

The investment group, as expected, plans to seek state funding for a downtown Miami stadium and has hired a top Tallahassee lobbyist to help out.

Brian Ballard will work on behalf of Miami Beckham United to pursue a state sales-tax subsidy similar to what other professional sports teams across Florida have received for building new facilities.

“We’ve been retained to make sure that Miami Major League Soccer is treated like every other professional sports team in the state,” Ballard said Friday.

He wouldn’t specify how much the investors might request — the funds are considered a rebate of sales taxes collected at qualifying stadiums — but the number is expected to be similar to past deals for other teams.

In the 1990s, for example, the Miami Dolphins received a $2 million annual subsidy over 30 years to retrofit Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens for baseball.

More here.

This post has been rewritten from the initial breaking news to a full story.

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