When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy back in 2007, it came with an option to purchase his own Major League Soccer team for a discounted rate of $25 million. He has since exercised this option and has been granted the go-ahead by MLS to pursue it. Since then, he has made it known far and wide that he intends to put his new team in Miami.
Beckham’s intention, as it is, is to have a downtown Miami location, preferably waterfront, for an eventual stadium. This is where he hit some snags…
After a press heavy and lavish event with the Miami-Dade county commissioners at the Perez Art Museum last February, he and his group, promptly titled “Miami Beckham United” have had trouble securing these waterfront sites. The first proposed site was at the Port of Miami on what is known as Dodge Island. The goal was to build a stadium with at least 25,000 seats directly beneath the beautiful downtown Miami skyline. Even with scheduling game dates in unison with the Miami Heat to avoid parking complications, the county commissioners voted against this proposal in order to preserve the port for tourism and shipping.
The second location, that seemed to be getting significant traction in the media was on Biscayne Boulevard in the boat slip adjacent to American Airlines Arena. Although suggested by Mayor Carlos Gimenez himself, the Tropical Audobon Society stepped in with an open letter rebuttal of its own saying “A soccer stadium is clearly not a water-dependent use worthy of destroying more acreage of state aquatic preserve.”
Other options have come up, with locations just east of Miami International Airport and even next door to Marlins Park. Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago is even pulling for the team to share it’s home with the University of Miami Football team to help bring the Hurricanes back down from Miami Gardens.
Most scenarios have the team most likely to begin playing at FIU or Marlins Park while a more permanent home is constructed.
In an recent email sent from Beckham’s real estate advisor John Alschuler to the Miami Herald, John states “While nothing in this complex equation can be taken for granted, I am optimistic that there will be several positive announcements in the first quarter of the next year.”
Beckham and his group have remained adamant that they will only accept a downtown Miami location and although this seems to greatly hinder the city’s hope for a team, it hasn’t changed their end goal – putting a soccer team in Miami.