Watch the hearing on Beckham’s Miami Freedom Park proposal

Thursday is a big day for David Beckham’s nearly decade-long odyssey of fielding a Major League Soccer team in a new Miami stadium.

Miami commissioners are scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on a series of lease agreements that would put Beckham and his local partners, business tycoons Jorge and Jose Mas, a major step toward redevelopment of the Melreese golf course, city-owned, in a sprawling billion-dollar business and commercial area. stadium complex.

Please refresh this page at 2:30 pm to see the discussion in a live stream at the top.

Interviews with commissioners suggest they still have many questions about the deal, and it may not come to a vote on Thursday.

Beckham and his partners have spent years scouting various sites, haggling with politicians and campaigning during a referendum in which voters authorized the city to negotiate a 99-year no-bid lease for a stadium and retail complex in the the only publicly owned golf course in the city. .

Meanwhile, Inter Miami debuted a new stadium and practice facility in Fort Lauderdale as Beckham and his local co-owners negotiated a deal for Miami Freedom Park.

Inter Miami fans, park advocates, political observers and the South Florida real estate community have weighed in on what would be a major land deal, a turning point for the future of professional soccer in the City. Magic and a controversial stadium deal in a city still reeling from the much-criticized public funding deal to build the Miami Marlins’ ballpark.

Supporters tout the deal as a boon to Miami replete with windfall tax revenue, job creation and repurposed parks, all in a deal that would require the team to pay for the redevelopment without municipal bonds or city tax dollars.

Opponents frame the proposal as a questionable no-bid land deal that would hand over control of a large chunk of public land to a private for-profit company in precarious financial condition at a time when South Florida’s real estate market is on the rise.

READ MORE: Inter Miami responds to Billy Corben/David Samson video against Miami Freedom Park

Commissioners are expected to discuss issues such as minimum team rent, splitting profits with the city from a stadium naming rights deal and promised contributions to improve city parks.

In the end, Beckham and the Mas brothers will need four out of five commissioners to vote in favor for the deal to move forward. Commissioner Manolo Reyes has vowed to vote against Miami Freedom Park since it was conceived in 2018. The remaining four are in powerful positions to influence the final terms of the deal.

Joey Flechas covers government and public affairs in the city of Miami for the Herald, from town hall votes to neighborhood news. He won a Sunshine State award for revealing a Miami Beach political candidate’s ties to an illegal campaign donation. He graduated from the University of Florida.

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