An investment group featuring soccer star David Beckham has secured a billionaire investor, putting them closer to their goal of a $300 million Major League Soccer franchise and stadium in Miami, according to The Miami Herald.
Investment banker Todd Boehly adds to the group's financial stability, which is something the MLS has been looking for as it considers final approval of the franchise deal.
Stadium and franchise plans have lagged since Beckham announced plans for Miami Beckham United back in 2014, causing MLS officials to start pushing again more recently for a solid plan.
In February, The Real Deal reported that the Beckham-led group had settled on a site for a new $150 million, 25,000-seat stadium, the fourth attempt in three years at securing a location and getting the building process started. The MLS group reportedly paid $19 million to acquire the six-acre site.
The number of new soccer stadiums on the boards or under construction in the U.S. has risen in the last few years, perhaps speaking to the game's growing popularity around the country.
D.C. United broke ground on its long-awaited stadium in March after several rounds with the city's zoning and planning board over the design and the project's impact on surrounding businesses and residents. The $300 million, 19,400-seat venue is expected to open in time for the 2018 MLS season and will include a retail component. Just before it received final approval from DC officials, the team announced a $4 million–annual naming rights deal with Audi and that the stadium would be called Audi Field.
Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert is in negotiations with the city of Detroit over a parcel for his proposed $1 billion soccer stadium. Although Wayne County plans to build a jail on the site, Gilbert has offered to build it a better facility in another location and cover any costs beyond what was budgeted for the current project.
Meanwhile, developers in San Diego have proposed a soccer stadium complex for the former home of the San Diego Chargers, Qualcomm Stadium. The $2.5 billion SoccerCity would include a $200 million, 30,000-seat stadium, a trolley system, a 55-acre park and mixed-use developments. SoccerCity officials said the development would be financed with private money.