David Beckham Reportedly Turns Down Broward Stadium Offer; Officials Deny Hearing From Him
photo by Michael E. Miller
David Beckham's group of investors looking for a South Florida stadium for their MLS club have reportedly turned down Broward County.
This, according to a report by Gossip Extra. The gossip site says a source tells them Beckham is citing Broward's poor history for soccer clubs and low attendance to Panthers games as the main reason.
However, Broward officials and one of the main groups working on a stadium proposal for Beckham claim they've not heard from the investment group, and that all this is news to them.
While Broward County has always been a underdog in this fight, Beckham has had trouble nailing down a spot to build a soccer stadium in Miami-Dade.
This brought on rumors that he would take his quest north and consider Broward venues and places to set up shop, which in turn led us to write up a list of suggestions for the international soccer star-turned-MLS-club-owner.
Riding the crest of hope, a Fort Lauderdale organization named Envision Uptown then took up the challenge to put together a plan for Beckham to put his stadium where Lockhart Stadium currently stands.
Envision Uptown, a group made up of businesses such as Citrix, Bosch, Microsoft, Alpine, and Zimerman Advertising, have been busy putting together a proposal to build a sports and entertainment complex near the executive airport -- something that would revitalize the area and give Beckham what he wants out of a venue.
But, according to Gossip Extra, their source says Beckham has "quietly told Broward officials" that his club "will not play in Broward County"
"David is aware of the poor record of Broward when it comes to soccer," said one source close to Beckham. "Two professional soccer teams (Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old North American Soccer League and Major League Soccer's Fusion) have failed and it's hard to get a good crowd for anything in Broward, even for hockey.
"David understood that when he went to Sun Life Stadium this summer for several games. He knows that Miami-Dade County is the place."
However, New Times contacted Cary Goldberg, a real estate developer who sits on Envision Uptown's economic board, who tells us Beckham is not referring to Envision Uptown.
Asked by New Times if Envision Uptown has even heard about this rumor, Goldberg answered "No. I am not sure where or who they are referring to."
In fact, Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter gave Gossip Extra a similar answer when they reached her for a comment:
"They (Beckham's people) have not told me that. We are supposed to talk again early next month."
As it stands, Envision Uptown is still working on a package they hope to propose to Beckham and his investment group.
"We're already setting up to meet with the mayor, and commissioner Bruce Roberts to discuss a package and figure things out," Goldberg told New Times in July. "The key is that we have to get the businesses behind the idea."
So, it would seem, the MLS in Broward dream is not quite dead, despite rumors.
That is, not yet, anyway.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.