Nothing is signed, sealed, and delivered, but Miami Beckham United appears closer than ever before to securing a stadium for a future MLS expansion club.
After a meeting with Beckham United ownership, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado announced on Friday a tentative deal with the club to construct a privately financed stadium near Marlins Park, at the site of the old Orange Bowl, which a Beckham United spokesperson called "another step forward."
"Today's meeting with Mayor Regalado was another positive step toward bringing a world-class soccer club to Miami," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We're still in the early planning stages and several viable options still exist, but our preferred stadium location is the former Orange Bowl site. [The ownership group] is thrilled by the initial outpouring of support we've received from our fans and we're excited about sharing our plans with the City, County and community soon."
Great meeting with @Tomas_Regalado we have presented him our intentions to bring Futbol and a New soccer stadium in the former Orange Bowl.— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) July 17, 2015
"The time is now... This is the moment of truth," Claure told the Miami Herald. Claure added that the stadium's construction would be privately funded.
Friday's development is a watershed moment for the Miami MLS expansion project. Beckham exercised his contractual option to start an expansion team almost 18 months ago, and he and the rest of the Beckham United ownership group have encountered delays in the search for the ideal site for a stadium.
Now, finally, it appears they have found one.