It’s campaign time for Don Garber, the MLS and David Beckham.
David Beckham is in campaign mode. Beckham and his business partners now have to sell their soccer stadium proposal to Miami voters who will decide in November if they really really want a posh soccer stadium in town to house Beckham’s team. Much of today’s business and politics of sports depends on owners getting a deal with politicians and then putting that proposal before voters. It’s a roll of the dice because voters now are questioning whether investing in a sports venue is worth the effort. Voters will decide if Miami should change its no-bidding laws and negotiate a no bid deal with Beckham’s business to use city land for the stadium. Beckham’s plan to get the lease then build a facility along with other development on a city owned golf course. Miami residents may not be in a spending mood after a protracted battle to build a Miami Marlins baseball park which ended on April Fool’s Day, the first of April, 2009 that left Miami and Miami Dade County on the hook for an estimated $2.4 billion in total building expenses over a 40 year period.
Beckham and his partners have to convince voters they are getting a bargain. Miami’s baseball team and basketball franchise owners are not paying property taxes as part of the sports venue packages that were negotiated with city officials. Beckham’s group will pay property tax. The November referendum is not binding, the Miami City Council ultimately has to decide if a deal will be reached with Beckham’s group. Beckham and his campaigners will be going from door to door asking for support. There is opposition, a Miami lawyer is suing the city alleging the city has not followed proper procedure and is not having open bidding for the property. This may be Beckham’s last chance in Miami to find land for a facility.