An MLS source said a joint UM/MLS facility remains a ďreal possibilityĒ that interests Beckham, and Beckhamís people are still studying financial and traffic issues before coming back to UM with details and a definitive answer.
Problem is, a high-ranking Sun Life Stadium official whoís directly involved said Dolphins and stadium owner Stephen Ross is opposed to allowing UM to escape the final 18 years of its lease to move to an MLS facility. UM hasnít asked yet, because itís premature.
Since everything is negotiable, I believe a UM/Sun Life settlement is possible if MLS deems the project do-able, even though Ross has told people heís adamantly opposed to letting UM bolt its lease.
If the stadium is built at PortMiami (Beckhamís preferred site), traffic would be a concern for UM games because some cruises leave on Saturday afternoons. UM also wants to make sure thereís adequate parking. Beckhamís group is trying to formulate solutions on both issues.
UM isnít unhappy at Sun Life. But several high-ranking UM officials love the MLS stadium idea because of the appeal of a smaller venue (with 40,000 seats) with better atmosphere and sight lines and closer to campus, according to one of those officials. UM also would consider an MLS stadium near Marlins Park, an option Beckhamís group has considered.
UM has publicly confirmed its interest in potentially sharing a stadium with Beckham's team and is awaiting word from MLS on the feasibility.
Ross declined to comment when asked if he would allow UM to escape its lease. But a source close to him said he would have no incentive to do so.
What if UM offered a lot of money? ďThey donít have a lot of money to offer,Ē the Sun Life source said.