Football: David Beckham still weighing options for Miami soccer stadium

Former England football captain David Beckham poses on the red carpet as he attends the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 in London in November last year. -- PHOTO: AFP
Former England football captain David Beckham poses on the red carpet as he attends the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2014 in London in November last year. -- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (REUTERS) - More than a year after David Beckham swooped into Miami, the retired English soccer star has not secured a spot for his planned Major League Soccer team, but he and his partners are still searching, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The Miami Beckham United team is actively looking at four or five sites," Tadd Schwartz wrote in an emailed statement.

Beckham's group has remained mostly quiet since local officials last year rebuffed two attempts to secure land for a 25,000-seat bayfront arena in the city's downtown.

A first push last year to build the stadium on an empty tract on a small island mostly occupied by the port of Miami was fought by a maritime group led by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd . A second effort to tuck it in between the NBA Miami Heat's basketball arena and the city's art museum also failed.

"You can't build a stadium overnight, so finding the right site, finding the right place in Miami is important for us. But it will all start coming together pretty quickly and everything will start happening pretty soon," Beckham told E! Online late last month.

Miami-Dade County lawmakers are to hold a Tuesday vote to allow the county to open negotiations with Florida International University to use its American football arena as a temporary home for Beckham's team in south Miami.

"Right now, our focus is on identifying the location for a purpose-built stadium that will be the team's permanent home," Schwartz wrote.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has long emphasised the need for the club to have its own facility near downtown Miami.

"If we can't get the right stadium, we can't go to Miami," Garber told Reuters in October.