Beckham and Business Partners Dragging Feet on Negotiations with Miami-Dade

Beckham and Business Partners Dragging Feet on Negotiations with Miami-Dade
Photo by Michael E Miller

David Beckham may be the figurehead, but he's far from the only businessmen involved in the effort to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami. 

Sure, the business group is called "Miami Beckham United." Sure, a discounted price on the franchise is only possible because of a special clause in Beckham's contract with the LA Galaxy. Sure he's the name in all the headlines, but Beckham won't be the only one in the owner's box. 

Marcelo Claure, the Bolivian-born but Kansas City-based billionaire CEO of Sprint, is also a key money man. 

Then there's Simon Fuller. He's the guy behind the international franchise that brought us American Idol. He's since expanded his business interests beyond just television and music and into fashion and sports as well. The mogul has homes across the globe, but seems to split most time between London and LA. 

Tim Leiweke is also along for the ride. He's the former president and CEO of a group that owns teams in Toronto, where he continues to be based. 

So you've got a bunch of guys dotted across the map with other things going on who all have to sign off on major decisions about bringing top division soccer back to Miami. 

And apparently, that's causing some holdup in the process. 

According to the Miami Herald, the Beckham group has been slow in coming to terms with Miami-Dade County in negotiations for the piece of county-owned land they need to build their stadium. 

The team needs to buy a county parcel in Overtown to build their stadium, but to sidestep opening the land up to a competitive bidding process, the county and the team's owners need to come to terms on agreements of an economic development package. That's a bit of bureaucratic red tape maybe, but one put in place to make sure that citizens aren't screwed by sweetheart deals on public-owned land. 

Here's the key takeaway from The Miami Herald story, though: 

The source downplayed the level of disagreement, saying it was more an issue of the receiving clearance from a partnership that includes Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, entertainment mogul Simon Fullers and others for various aspects of the contract.

The Beckham group has already agreed to some of the elements of an economic development package publicly. They've committed to hiring local workers and local vendors, but Beckham's group of business world International Super Friends need to get into the details of analyzing the fine print. 

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