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There is going to be a major announcement on Wednesday in Miami featuring David Beckham, Major League Soccer's Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, according to a press release issued on Monday.
In recent months, Beckham and his group have been trying to drum up support for a new MLS franchise in Miami. While the details of Wednesday's announcement remain under wraps, it is possible that a major sticking point involving the stadium has been taken care of.
MLS would like to see the team have the stadium figured out before rewarding a franchise to Miami, the Miami Herald reported. If that has come to fruition, the Herald speculates that the new team could be ready as early as 2016.
"We are so ready to welcome MLS to beautiful Miami,” the Twitter account @Miami_MLS said in a tweet to NBC 6’s Christina Hernandez Monday.
The account, which is pushing to bring a MLS team to Miami, has more than 1,800 followers.
While touring stadium locations, Beckham checked out Marlins Park, Sun Life Stadium and FIU Stadium according to Yahoo! Sports. While Beckham wants a new building for his franchise, it's possible that one of those venues could still be utilized as a temporary home if needed.
The Herald mentioned a PortMiami waterfront lot as being a frontrunner in terms of location choices for Beckham's stadium plans.
Beckham has been seen at several Heat games this year including as recently as Feb. 1 in New York, when Miami took on the Knicks. These appearances not only show Beckham's increased interest in the city of Miami but his budding business relationship with LeBron James that was first reported back in November by ESPN. At the time, it was reported that James was interested himself in a soccer franchise coming to Miami.
The announcement this Wednesday is set to take place at 10 a.m. at the Perez Art Museum on Biscayne Boulevard. Following the announcement, Beckham is set to hold a meet-and-greet with local youth soccer players at Kendall Soccer Park.
Back in 2002, MLS pulled the plug on Miami’s previous franchise in the league, the Fusion.
"I think what happened with 9/11, what was going on with the economy at the time, it led to some difficult situations and that's one of the reasons they decided to cut. Obviously it worked because major league soccer is now blossoming,” said Phil Schoen, a play-by-play announcer for the global soccer network BEINS.
Schoen said he believes the soccer fan landscape in South Florida has grown exponentially in recent years, citing an influx of people from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.
“Just over the last five years this market has changed dramatically,” he said.