David Beckham near Miami tax-break deal with schools chief - report

David Beckham met with the Miami-Dade School superintendent to discuss a stadium deal with local governments, according to a Miami Herald report.

School superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the two met on Wednesday in Miami Beach for 45 minutes and discussed their visions for the stadium. Carvalho lobbied on behalf of the local school system while Beckham discussed why he wants to bring Major League Soccer to Miami, according to the report.

Beckham's ownership group is brokering a deal to build a $200 million stadium on privately-owned land and parcels owned by Miami in the latest phase of their attempts to set up a team in the Florida city.

In an interview last week with the Miami Herald's editorial board Miami Beckham United's chief negotiator, Tim Leiweke, said negotiations with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County to acquire a plot of land adjacent to Marlins Park have stalled.

He said that the current plan to transfer the land to the Miami-Dade School Board in order to avoid paying property taxes remains on track. He also said six private property owners made "unrealistic" financial demands, thus preventing MBU from acquiring all needed land.

"He [Beckham] told me this is the one place in the world where he wants to have his name associated with a soccer team," Carvalho said.

Carvalho had initially lobbied to place a magnet school within the stadium itself, but that provision was publicly rejected by Beckham's local negotiators, according to the report. Carvalho said he is now seeking a large amount of "educational" space within the stadium.

Carvalho said the total benefits to schools would top $1 million, roughly equal to what the stadium would pay to the school board if subject to property taxes, the report said.

Beckham's group have also agreed to continue paying the same amount of property taxes the current land owners pay to local governments.

Insiders say Carvalho and Beckham's group have reached consensus, and that approval by the elected school board is considered a certainty, the report said.

A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed last week that MBU is aiming to finalize the deal by Dec. 5, when MBU is slated to present the details to the MLS Board of Governors. If there is no deal in place, it leaves the purchase option Beckham exercised back in February of 2014 for a discounted rate of $25 million at risk.