Beckham and partners clear massive hurdle in stadium plans for Miami MLS team

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A public vote on stadium plans was won by the former England star and his partners as they look to win the right to develop land in Miami

David Beckham and his partners were on the ballot Tuesday night in Miami and scored a major win as voters endorsed their plans to develop a stadium on a publicly owned golf course near Miami International Airport. 

The Miami Herald reports that with 88 percent of the vote reporting the stadium referendum held a comfortable margin with 60 percent of the vote.   

Beckham and company can now negotiate a lease of the city land, currently home to Melreese golf course, for a massive redevelopment that would include a 25,000-seat stadium and commercial space.

The plan includes at least 750 hotel rooms and 1 million square feet of office, commercial and retail space on the 73 acres, with the ownership group having also agreed to fund a 58-acre public park in the area around the complex. 

Miami's ownership group needed to secure the vote to avoid a public bidding process, opening up their ability to negotiate a lease for the proposed Miami Freedom Park. 

Beckham and his partners spent $900,000 on the campaign and it appears to have been money well spent. 

While Tuesday's result is a big win for Beckham and Miami's ownership group, it is not the final hurdle they will have to clear. 

The Miami franchise must now get approval from four of five city commissioners. Two of the five have publicly voiced  their opposition to the stadium deal and both voted against putting the stadium referendum on the ballot in the first place. 

Beckham, however, was still in a joyous mood on Tuesday night. 

“I started this dream five and a half years ago ... to bring a team to Miami, to bring a team to this great city,” Beckham said at a rally Tuesday night. “To bring a team to you, the people. We’ve had some speed bumps along the way. We’ve had a few problems along the way.”

One of those speed bumps has now been passed despite strong opposition including multiple lawsuits. 

“We’ve proved to the world that persistence, patience, makes things happen,” Beckham said. “We are going to bring a championship winning team. We are going to bring great players. We are going to create homegrown talent.”

As part of the proposal Miami's ownership group has promised to spend around $35 million (£27m) to clean up toxic waste at the site and to pay employees a living wage. 

MLS commissioner Don Garber also weighed in on Twitter, calling Tuesday's win with the voters in Miami "a historic day for the sport in our country."

Miami was not the only place that MLS stadium plans were on the ballot Tuesday. 

Soccer City SD, a group trying to bring MLS to San Diego and backed by former Beckham teammate Landon Donovan, faced a crucial public vote on their stadium situation as well

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