Beckham's Miami plans called a 'real mess' ahead of public vote over MLS stadium on top of toxic waste dump

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The former England captain will be hoping to win a vote on Tuesday as he looks to begin construction on a site for his Inter Miami side

Former England captain David Beckham is set for a ballot clash in Miami as he looks to finalise stadium plans for his prospective MLS expansion club.

Beckham officially launched his long-term plan to bring an expansion side into the US's largest football competition in January when league commissioner Don Garber sanctioned his Inter Miami FC outfit.

But the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder has faced opposition over plans to build the club’s new 25,000-seater stadium near Melreese Country Club and golf course.

The redevelopment, dubbed Freedom Park, would also see the construction of a large-scale shopping mall and a 750-room hotel, but faces still faces several hurdles to get off the ground.

Local residents remain opposed to the plans and multi-millionaire Bruce Matheson – who launched the lawsuit that a judge ruled against in October – remains thoroughly critical of the 43-year-old’s actions.

"The big problem is that they’ve put the cart before the horse," Matheson told The Mirror  ahead of the November 6 vote. "They should have secured the land first and then talked about a stadium.

"It’s a real mess. We don’t need a mega mall in the middle of the city of Miami’s only golf course. It’s sad that they have made so many false attempts at bringing soccer here.

"We only need two ‘no’ votes to kill it for them and then they will be forced to look elsewhere."

David Beckham Miami MLS

Beckham's business venture has already faced heavy criticism in Miami for planning to build the stadium on an area contaminated with toxic waste, with claims that plans for how to clean it up were not in place.

Those concerns remain, though there are plans in place, including in the vote on Tuesday, for a large monetary commitment to cleaning up the site, according to the Miami Herald

Voters are being asked on Tuesday if the city should allow Beckham's group to skip the usual competitive bidding process and negotiate a 99-year lease.

Even a "yes" vote from the public would not be enough to get the job done completely, it would just authorize the city to negotiate over the land, with reports out of Miami claiming that a "capital transaction fee" of around $35 million (£27m) is required to clean up the toxic waste at the site. 

The Miami team would also be on the hook with the city for a "competitive" rate for using public lands for profitable means, with the rent being a minimum of $3.6 million per year, plus a $5 million payment to finish out Miami's Baywalk and Riverwalk.

There would also be a 1 percent payment of the gross proceeds received by the ownership from any capital transactions, which would mean if Beckham's group sold any of the proposed $1bn development the city would earn another lump payment. 

With Beckham’s franchise pencilled in to start in MLS during the 2020 season, he and his business partners face a race against time to secure build permission for their stadium.

Inter Miami’s expansion berth will make them the fifth team in four years to enter MLS following Atlanta United and Minnesota United’s inclusion in 2017 and the arrival of Los Angeles FC this campaign.

Furthermore, FC Cincinnati will join from next season and an unnamed Nashville-based side is slated to enter the fold alongside Miami in 2020.

There is also, according to MLS, a "clear path" for Austin, Texas to enter the league in the future despite reports that the proposed move of Columbus Crew to that city now seems unlikely with the emergence of a new ownership group in Ohio. 

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