MLS expected to approve Beckham's Miami soccer franchise by September

MLS commissioner Don Garber Chicago Fire owner and chairman Andrew Hauptman Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel Chicago Sports Commissioner Executive Director Kara Bachman and Target VP of Marketing William White

Speaking at a press conference before Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game in Chicago, Garber also complimented Republic FC for beginning pre-construction work at the site of a planned 20,000-seat soccer stadium in the downtown railyard.

Garber revealed that those owners subsequently voted to authorize him, MLS president Mark Abbott and the league's expansion committee chaired by Jonathan Kraft of the New England Revolution to "finalize the details with respect to [Beckham's] plan". "We're at the finish line".

MLS Commissioner Don Garber mentioned Sacramento in a group of four cities that "have really been energized" in recent months as they fight for a spot in the nation's top professional soccer league.

Heading into the meeting, it was thought that the vote would grant final approval for Beckham's group. Garber has already said that Nippert Stadium works in the short-term, so if Cincinnati can finalize long-term plans for a soccer-specific stadium, FC Cincinnati theoretically could make the transition before 2020 and that could help win a bid. "We're not there yet. And perhaps, coming out of that board meeting is not an approval, but a handful of things that need to happen to get that approval, at which point, perhaps weeks later, we're able to go down to Miami and talk about what our plans might be".

That would string out the saga of Beckham's quest to start an MLS team in Miami even more after failing to find a waterside venue, then having plans for a location near the Miami Marlins' baseball park fall through.

According to The Miami Herald, Beckham, Boehly and their partners recently purchased a three-acre parcel for $9 million and now hold nine acres in total.

It will be the league's largest commercial partnership ever, he said.

His arrival in LA, after trophy-filled years with Manchester United and Real Madrid, ushered in a new era for the league, spurring bigger contracts for marquee players, more expansion teams and new stadiums.

Leiweke said in June that Beckham was working behind the scenes with a marketing team on the club's name, colors, logo, and also thinking about a training facility and youth academy. "The next step is introducing our ownership group to Miami and getting going with the city on zoning, which I believe we'll get through". We are further down the road than people would suspect.

Garber added that the process will ensure that "all the T's are crossed and all the I's are dotted [and] is enough to time for all of us to be able to make the right decisions - them and us - to be able to have the best possible dynamic to move forward". We control our own destiny.

Some owners reportedly aren't thrilled to let the retired soccer star's partners profit from the deep discount on an expansion fee that Beckham was granted as the marquee MLS player in 2007.

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