Beckham shares plan for soccer-specific stadium in Miami

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By FRANCO PANIZO

David Beckham has made a well-known secret officially public: He wants to build a soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami.

Beckham made his latest visit to Florida on Monday to talk to media about his plans to build a beautiful, 25,000-seat stadium on Dodge Island in downtown Miami. Beckham also talked about the opposition he is facing for the the plot of land in the southwest corner of the port, which some cruise lines want for their own plans for development.

“I want to change their minds,’’ Beckham told reporters Monday, a little more than a month since being awarded an MLS expansion franchise that is contingent on securing a stadium deal. “I don’t want to be an enemy to the people that are opposed to the stadium. I want to work with them because this is going to be positive for Miami. Ultimately, when you sit at the stadium, you will see the skyline. When a game is played at the stadium, it will not only be seen in America, but it will be seen worldwide.”

While that issue will likely need to be sorted out in the coming months, Beckham has another one he will try to begin to resolve on Tuesday. The soccer icon, who again stated that funding for the stadium would not come from the public, is set to head north to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet with government officials about a state subsidy worth approximately $2 million yearly that other professional sports teams in the Sunshine State receive.

“We want to be treated like every other franchise,” said Beckham. “We’re not asking for anything more or anything less.”

There are also traffic concerns regarding the project, which is estimated to be worth $200 million, but Beckham detailed some possible solutions while also saying that he has never left a stadium where there wasn’t traffic.

Beckham’s group had unveiled renderings of their proposed design Monday as part of a push to build public support for the project.

The wheels may be in motion, but plenty of work lies ahead for Beckham and his group if they are to make this open-air stadium dream on the port become a reality in the coming years.

“For me, Miami is all about the weather and its culture,” Beckham said. “I don’t think people see that enough.”

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What do you think of Beckham’s plans? Do you expect him and his group to get the PortMiami site that they are so keen on? Think they will get that subsidy from the state?

Share your thoughts below.

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41 Responses to Beckham shares plan for soccer-specific stadium in Miami

  1. Jack Del says:

    Battling it out with cruise ship companies. Ouch. Couldn’t have asked for a better funded, more lobbied industry.

    • Stinky Pete says:

      He should just make Princess Cruise lines the official sponsor… bam!..Compromise achieved.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Yeah but what Beckham wants, Beckham gets. He’ll throw in private dock access and lunch with Victoria to seal the deal.

    • JayAre says:

      MLS can’t lose to the Cruise industry. Can We? I mean it Beckham he’s gotta have some kinda pull

      • Jack Del says:

        I’m sure he’s a huge attraction down there.

        But these are the cruise lines. They bring 100s of thousands of tourists/people to Florida every year. The influx of income is huge for the state economy.

        They are an established power player.

        • Joamiq says:

          I wonder how opposed they are, really. They may just be trying to create a bargaining position so they can get something out of this – some kind of infrastructure improvements or something. I really can’t see how developing the port would hurt the cruise lines. They’re not at the same part of the port that the stadium would be at, and traffic for the cruises is not such that it would be tremendously hampered by stadium traffic. On the flipside, it would give them some free publicity – their ships would be in the background of shots of the stadium. I can picture pre-game cameras setting the scene with shots of the cruise ships.

  2. tom says:

    Free advice: If you’re going to be in a picture with David Beckham, don’t stand right next to him in jeans and a t-shirt

    • Jack Del says:

      Take that even further, just avoid his glow in any clothes.

    • Wispy says:

      Those guys are actually in business attire. Beckham just makes everyone else around him pale in comparison.

    • Bongwater says:

      I would probably wear a ski mask or hold up a Deuce face.

    • Uncle Ed says:

      Thanks for the fashion advice Tom. But they pulled us up there last minute. Had no idea it was going to happen, if not I would have worn a tux. But we got the MLS Miami and Southern Legion name out there.

      • Jack Del says:

        Don’t think he meant that literally. I read it as a joke of how good looking Beckham is. He is really, really good looking.

        • Rory says:

          Meh. Maybe you got your name out there locally but everyone else still assumes this is Beckham’s benevelant gift to Miami and most (but not I) expect a flop due to lack of MLS fans.

    • Alex H says:

      My guess is that those guys are the billionaire moneybags that are actually putting up the money for the team, as such they probably can wear whatever they want.

  3. Robert Daniels says:

    I WANT THIS STADIUM!!

  4. THomas says:

    I forgot how international the demographic in Miami is. Euro tourism is huge there, that’s just one of many aspects that will make this team a success from the start. The biggest will be Beckham, and this location isn’t far behind if it comes through.

  5. Amru says:

    Kind of irrelevant to the article but here’s a great piece about the Krafts now being the worst owners in MLS

    link to bostonmagazine.com

  6. Horsewhistle says:

    In terms of development principles, the Miami team is not actually working with the stadium opposition. At the very least, have a few meetings and address their concerns to quell their voices. This team is choosing the ‘thanks but, no thanks’ approach which usually is pretty successful at generating more opposition. Theyve come out early and put together a comprehensive concept package.

    Beckham says he wants to change their minds. Which means this team believes their sphere of influence is greater than their oppositions. I am sure they have some pretty smart minds working on this behind the scenes, but it is apparent that substantial political capital will be spent in the coming year.

    • Joamiq says:

      It’s too early yet to be drawing conclusions about whether or not Beckham is lying when he says he wants to work with the opposition.

      • Horsewhistle says:

        This doesn’t mean that he’s not going to work with the opposition nor does my comment accuse him of lying.

        I doubt that areas of concern by stadium opposition are addressed in these renderings. Usually you can work these out in advance but the timetable that this was put out and the perspective that opposition ‘minds will change’ alludes to the process and speed to which Beckham’s development team will move.

  7. tvf says:

    Hello? Place the pitch on a cruise ship and sail around during the matches.

  8. Aaron says:

    Sky blue and navy are nice colors. Maybe a little orange would make whole thing pop. Oh, pardon, someone else is already using that combo. Well, I am terribly sorry.

  9. Joamiq says:

    If they get that pedestrian bridge built, that will ease the traffic situation substantially. If I were going to a game down there, I would definitely drive into downtown, hang out there before the match, and then walk over the bridge to the stadium. Thru traffic to Miami Beach would take the Causeway anyway, so I don’t see the stadium interfering with anything.

    • Drew11 says:

      This is a day dream. They will never get waterfront land in Miami for a stadium. Next to Marlins stadium sounds more realistic.

  10. divers suck says:

    Still not convinced. Miami and South Florida have had numerous chances dating back to the days of the NASL. That and I watched a Heat game and saw many empty seats for the NBA champs, the Dolphins are a hard sell in the NFL, the Marlins draw less than spring season, the Panthers are a horrible draw even back in their Stanley Cup days of lore.
    Too much other things to do in S. Fla? Not into pro sports? Bad market?
    Perhaps all of the above. Don’t waste your money Mr. Beckham. Even if you do get a stadium and team, it will lose the interest of folks in Florida in short order……Just like every other pro sports venture.