MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Soccer legend David Beckham is continuing to pursue bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
Beckham toured the area in June with cellphone mogul Marcelo Claure and together the duo is looking at locating an MLS franchise in South Florida. According to the Herald, talks to get a team here are "progressing nicely, but not a done deal just yet."
Beckham retired from soccer last spring and as a part of his MLS contract, he is allowed to buy a franchise for a discounted price. The Herald reported that price is around $25 million. He wants to exercise the option before it expires in December and Miami is his top choice, according to the Herald.
MLS sources said neither Sun Life Stadium or FIU Stadium are ideal venues for the team and instead want a soccer-specific stadium if it's possible. Given the complexities of getting any public money for a stadium, that is not likely in South Florida.
A separate group, led by Italian financier Alessandro Butini in partnership with the University of Miami School of Architecture, is trying to develop ideas for a soccer-specific stadium. Bruttini has met with MLS officials and said the stadium would be privately funded.
According to Butini, via the Herald, MLS wants an 18-20,000 seat stadium with covering for the fans, FIFA compliant, luxury suites, and top media facilities. UM students estimated the cost to be between $70 and $85 million, according to the Herald.
If all things go as planned, MLS could be ready to announce an award a soccer franchise to Beckham and plans to build a new stadium for that team by the end of 2013.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)
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