David Beckham's investment group hasn't given up hope of building an MLS stadium in Miami, according to a group spokesperson as well as a Miami city commissioner.
Beckham and his investment consortium, Miami Beckham United, have twice been beaten back in their attempts to secure a waterfront stadium site. In May, the Miami-Dade County commission voted 11-1 against Beckham's group building a stadium in PortMiami. Later, the group attempted to secure a site in downtown Miami's Museum Park that is currently occupied by a deep-water boat slip, but was turned down by city of Miami mayor Tomas Regalado and city manager Daniel Alfonso.
Since then, there has been little news coming out of the group, though a group spokesperson told ESPNFC.com, "Things are progressing well in Miami, and we are very much on track in our plans. David is very positive about the future of the club, and he continues to enjoy incredible support from the people in Miami. We hope to announce some exciting news soon."
The push for a stadium by MLS and Beckham was kicked off with great fanfare at a press event last February. Now it appears that the group is taking a more measured approach, preferring to work back channels in its bid to find a site, rather than out in the open.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said the mayor had not heard from Beckham's group for three months, but city commissioner Frank Carollo, whose district includes the Little Havana neighborhood, said he's been in recent contact with Miami Beckham United.
"They're still doing their homework, looking at potential sites," he said of Miami Beckham United. "They're being quiet since the last two times they went public it was premature, and they didn't have a good outcome. They are being quiet like I think they should, but they've told me they are still very committed to the city of Miami. As of right now, I have no reason to doubt that."
During Tuesday's State of the League address, MLS commissioner Don Garber declined to get into specifics about Beckham's attempts to build a stadium, but did say that the process of securing a site "can't go on forever."
"It is a private discussion and relationship as it relates to the specific option, and I am not going to get into those details -- but this is not something that can last forever," Garber said. "I believe Miami can become a great MLS market -- if we can put the pieces in place. The [Beckham] group continues to work to try and find a stadium solution that they believe will put them in a position to succeed. That is a difficult process, but it is one they continue to work hard on."
The commissioner stressed that no pressure would be put on Miami politicians to help smooth the path of the Beckham franchise.
"What we do is we communicate to the public and their representatives what is necessary for us to be successful and ultimately ensure that David can exercise his option in Miami," he said. "They are well aware of it now, and there is not much more really that we can do now. We are not asked to do much more."
The league's board of governors will hear a report from its expansion committee this weekend.
Minnesota, Sacramento, and Las Vegas have all been making strong pushes to land an expansion team. Garber indicated that he expects the league to reach 24 teams before the end of the decade.
When Orlando City and New York City FC begin play next season, the league will have 20 teams. Atlanta and Los Angeles Football Club will bring that number to 22 when they begin play in 2017.
Garber said talks had been held with interested parties from Minnesota, Sacramento and Las Vegas and that there had been "discussions with San Antonio, El Paso and St Louis -- they are just not as far along."