County Commission to Vote on Beckham's MLS Team Temporarily Playing at FIU

Update: The commission has unanimously passed the resolution.

As David Beckham and his partners quietly line up their next site for a Major League Soccer stadium in Miami, the county commission is likely to throw its support today behind a temporary home field: Florida International University. The commission will vote on a resolution this afternoon directing the mayor to "negotiate agreements" between Beckham and the school to host MLS games.

But the vote isn't likely to mean much for Beckham's actual plans, which remain hazy.

"Anything that sends a message that we want them to be in Miami is a good step right now," Commissioner Xavier Suarez tells New Times. "The FIU site is particularly desirable and sends that right message, I believe."

Suarez says FIU would give the team a home base close to Miami's higher population densities and wouldn't have the cavernous feel of Sun Life Stadium, another potential temporary home.

"It would appeal to the Westchester community, and I think there's potential for tapping a fan base there," he says.

Whether Sun Life or FIU is a better temporary home for the team, there's a big caveat to today's vote: Beckham and his backers apparently have nothing to do with it.

All indications are that the ex-LA Galaxy star is still lining up his options after several waterfront locations fell through. Suarez says he hasn't heard from anyone on the team in months, and there's been no official news about alternative stadium sites.

Here's what a spokesman sent to ESPN about today's vote:

"Things are progressing in Miami, and we are very much on track in our plans. David Beckham is very positive about the future of the club, and he continues to enjoy incredible support from the people in Miami. Right now, our focus is on identifying the location for a purpose-built stadium that will be the team's permanent home. Careful consideration will be given to FIU when we address the opportunities for a temporary facility."

Still, Suarez says symbolically at least it's important to lay the groundwork for the team to have a place to play.

"Ultimately, if I were Major League Soccer and wanted to locate in Miami, which I'm hoping we'll see in the first quarter, it would make sense to play games out west, at least exhibitions," he says.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink