For almost four years, South Florida has been waiting to find out when a Major League Soccer expansion team – brought to town by a group led by soccer legend David Beckham – would finally kick things off.
According to one investor in the group, that first game could be a while off – if it ever takes place.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Tim Leiweke said he has “fears” about whether all the final hurdles can be cleared that would allow the team to come into existence and join the league.
“Things like this that drag on this long that’s always tough on a process,” Leiweke told the paper. “But for David I hope he lands somewhere.”
In February 2014, Beckham exercised an option given to him when he joined the MLS as a player to own an expansion team in the league. Debate ensued over a potential location for the team’s stadium – with locations near PortMiami and Marlins Park being among nearly a half dozen sites that were turned down.
Beckham and investors began purchasing land in Overtown starting in March 2016, with delays continuing on purchasing all the land needed until June of this year, when Miami-Dade commissioners approved the final parcel needed for the stadium.
MLS officials had previously said a franchise couldn’t start playing in South Florida until the 2019 season at the earliest – though that will be delayed due to the stadium issue. The franchise would be the second MLS team to play in South Florida, as the Miami Fusion spent four seasons in the league playing before folding after the 2001 season.