The long wait for David Beckham's proposed MLS franchise in Miami has taken its toll on local officials.
Speaking at a meeting of the county’s Housing and Social Services committee, Miami-Dade commissioner Xavier Suarez proposed an alternate usage for the land in the Overtown neighborhood that has been earmarked for a stadium to house the Beckham-led team. The English superstar first publicly announced his proposed team in 2014.
“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 asked Monday, as reported by the Miami Herald. “Are we going to wait for these folks forever before we use that property for something more?”
County officials say they haven't heard from Beckham's group for months, despite Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez telling the Herald that he's ready to negotiate the sale of the final three-acre parcel of land needed to build the stadium on the Overtown site.
“Are they bringing a stadium there?” Commissioner Audrey Edmonson asked. “I haven’t heard anything.”
Edmunson's stance reflects a growing impatience in the Miami political community toward the Beckham group, which would have to gain the county's approval for street closures and zoning changes in order to get a stadium built.
“They would have to get the residents in that area to agree to it,” Edmonson said in an interview. “I’m going to follow the lead of my Overtown residents.”
Beckham's team includes Sprint Corporation CEO Marcelo Claure, entertainment industry super-agent Simon Fuller, and former AEG and MLSE honcho Tim Leiweke. The group is looking for further investors to help fund the stadium project, which is estimated at $200 million.