Regalado said he will seek approval from city commissioners to begin talks but since the civic leaders were the ones pushing the location to the Beckham team, approval is seen as only a formality.

Beckham’s group, which includes “American Idol” creator and fellow Briton Simon Fuller, has explored stadium options for months and saw two earlier downtown waterfront sites blocked by local politicians and business interests.

“This is a milestone”, Miami Mayor Tom├ís Regalado said at a press conference held after the meeting, the Miami Herald reports.

Though a representative for Claure told reporters Friday that 2018 was a likely start date, MLS has indicated it will not let a Miami team into the league without a firm stadium plan. Beckham’s group says it will finance construction of the stadium and pay rent for the publicly-owned land.

Beckham’s stay in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy brought him an option to purchase an MLS expansion team at a reduced price and he selected Miami as his market.

The plan would give the chance to turn the stadiums area into an entertainment district with shops, restaurants and hotels.

Nothing is signed, sealed, and delivered, but Miami Beckham United appears closer than ever before to securing a stadium for a future MLS expansion club.

Beckham’s team was conditionally accepted into MLS but needed to finalise a stadium deal to make the team a reality.

The proposed 25,000-seat stadium does not involve any partnering with the University of Miami football program, “at this time, ” said Rafael de Guzman, an associate of Beckham’s partner and primary investor, Marcelo Claure, after the meeting.