David Beckham has finalized a site in Miami for a soccer stadium. The nine-acre private piece of land in the Overtown neighborhood will help the football legend get his team in the Major League Soccer (MLS).
Beckham’s bid for an MLS team in Miami got a big push as the ownership group backing the project confirmed the acquisition of a large patch of land to build a soccer-specific stadium in the Overtown district in Miami city. In fact, Beckham purchased several private properties that collectively formed the nine-acre plot for his stadium site. He is expected to purchase the remaining land from Miami-Dade County at fair market value, pending the approval of his chosen location by the MLS Board of Governors on Saturday, reported Fox Sports.
The city has confirmed that the private land in the area is already under contract. Now the only thing that remains between Beckham and his official Miami MLS team is approval from MLS’s Board of Governors. The group backing the project has assured that construction of the stadium would strictly follow the codes and regulations.
“This will be the most responsible stadium development in Miami history,” the group promised, reported the Miami New Times.
A statement from the Beckham’s group read as follows.
“Miami Beckham United has secured a stadium development site at 650 Northwest 8th Street in the City of Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. We intend to create an assemblage of private and County-controlled land totaling approximately 9 acres in Miami’s urban core, within walking distance of multiple public transit options and the up-and-coming Miami River District. The private properties, which comprise the majority of the land, are under contract and we intend to purchase the County land at fair market value pending approval of our site by the MLS Board of Governors.
“As we have said, this will be the most responsible stadium development in Miami history. Construction of our venue will be privately financed and we will work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to establish our club as an educational resource for the community. We will also engage nearby businesses and residents as we develop our stadium design and take steps to enhance the neighborhood.
“David, Simon, Marcelo and Tim would like to thank Mayors Gimenez and Regalado, Commissioners at the City and County, and Superintendent Carvalho for their leadership and willingness to assist us throughout this process. Most importantly, we appreciate the support and patience of our fans who share David’s dream of fielding a world-class soccer club in Miami. We’ve never been closer to making that vision a reality, and we appreciate the consideration of Commissioner Garber and the MLS Board of Governors.”
According to the Miami Herald, Beckham’s group is keenly interested in procuring a plot of county-owned land just south of the site. There has been no official confirmation about the purpose of the plot. However, if Beckham intends to develop a stadium, he is going to need ample parking space, for which the present piece of land may prove insufficient.
The decision to develop the stadium in Overtown neighborhood comes after the Beckham group considered Little Havana but couldn’t succeed. The group ran into several hurdles, including hindrances that were created by a similar stadium deal struck years ago to build Marlins Park. The group considered two alternate locations in downtown Miami but abandoned them in favor of the nine-acre area in Overtown. Experts, however, feel the decision to finalize the plot may have come after there were rumors about Sacramento taking the 24th spot in MLS.
If Beckham’s group can secure all the requisite approvals and permissions, and manages to completely secure the site for the stadium, Miami could be a shoo-in to become the 24th MLS team. The Beckham group expects stadium in Miami to be up and running before the decade is out.
[Photo by Alexia Fodere/Getty Images]