David Beckham has come a step closer to fielding a new Major League Soccer team after authorities gave him the green light to look for a site for a new stadium.

The vote by Miami-Dade county commissioners was the first test of political support for Beckham's football venture in the Florida city.

The decision gave county officials authority to identify stadium sites and negotiate construction contracts with developers.

The former England captain wants to set up a new side to compete in the top US league.

The MLS has stressed the importance of having a final stadium deal, along with a business plan, before it will approve a new team.

"We can't go to Miami without the right stadium solution," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said during his state of the league address ahead of the MLS Cup final in Kansas City in early December.

"David understands that, the city understands that, that is an indisputable fact," he said.

Beckham who played in the MLS for the Los Angeles Galaxy, retired as a player in May but is seeking to exercise a $25 million option in his MLS contract to start a new franchise.

County officials say Beckham is interested in an urban setting near Miami's downtown, possibly on publicly owned land next to the port of Miami's cruise ship terminals, hoping the stadium would become part of Miami's tourism landscape.