Football: Beckham group makes deal to build MLS soccer stadium

A group led by former English soccer star David Beckham (above) has confirmed plans for a Miami stadium.
A group led by former English soccer star David Beckham (above) has confirmed plans for a Miami stadium.AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - English football icon David Beckham and his investment group have reached a deal to build a new football stadium next to the Miami Marlins baseball park, according to media reports on Friday.

The Miami Herald and South Florida's Sen-Sentinel newspapers both outlined the deal for Beckham's group to fund the 25,000-seat stadium announced by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

"This is a milestone," Regalado said of the Beckham's group decision to build near the Major League Baseball stadium.

Beckham's stay in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy brought him an option to purchase an MLS expansion team at a reduced price and he selected Miami as his market.

But Beckham's group could not agree with civic leaders on a stadium site, who rejected a waterfront location near Biscayne Bay.

Beckham's team was conditionally accepted into MLS but needed to finalise a stadium deal to make the team a reality.

Now Beckham partner Marcelo Claure says his group is hopeful to take the field in 2018.

"The time is now," Claure said.

"This is the moment of truth."

Claure also said the University of Miami is not a partner in the deal but Beckham's group would be open to their involvement in the project, as a home for the school's American football programme, at a later time.

The plan would give the chance to turn the stadiums area into an entertainment district with shops, restaurants and hotels.

Claure said his architects have studied the area and decided there is no need to alter roadways near the planned stadium site.

Regalado said he would seek approval from city commissioners to open talks with Beckham's group to complete the deal but since the site is the one the city pitched and Beckham's side needed to study, that backing is seen as little more than a formality.