By Luz Mosquera
David Beckham is one of Britain’s most iconic soccer player who is also known for various worldwide advertisements and a pop culture staple. Back in 2014 Beckham mentioned his quest to build a stadium in Miami, with the ambition of bringing a stadium to one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods in an area that lacks parking garages, restaurants, and retail: Overtown.
According to a letter written by Neisen Kasdin, Beckham’s lawyer, “We believe this proposed location for a soccer stadium will have significant positive impacts on Overtown, Little Havana, and the burgeoning Miami River restaurant district along North River Drive.”
However, Beckham turned to Overtown as a Plan-B site as his Little Havana ambitions seem to fail, putting to blame private landowners who asked for too much money.
In 2015, Beckham and Tim Leiweke, American sports executive and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, said the partnership continued to make progress in negotiating with the city of Miami to purchase the land across from the Marlin Park, along with sending it to the Miami-Dade School Board who will shield the stadium from property taxes.
If this negotiation fails, Beckham has a fallback plan at an undisclosed site according to Leiweke. Beckham’s group is offering to build the stadium and pay Miami for the land needed. Also, he vowed to continue to pay the same property taxes that the private landowners pay local governments.
Finally in 2016, Beckham, along with his group and investors, were able to purchase the land needed for the stadium in Overtown. Since the Marlin’s Park plan was not successful as Beckham had hoped, his next top choice, according to the Miami Herald, “The current site sits just north of the Miami River, in western Overtown and a short walk from the Spring Garden neighborhood, the nine-acre property would be privately owned by the Beckham group.”
However, Beckham’s group still faces obstacles such as parking. The new stadium would not have enough space for parking lots, which would make fans walk from nearby the Metrorail or garages within a mile radius.
Beckham’s group responded in a statement, according to Miami Herald, “The fact is, Miami is becoming an increasingly urban city and soccer is an inherently urban sport around the world, so an MLS stadium in the urban core is a natural fit. Our team is taking a responsible approach that prioritizes public transit, access and walkability.”
The Beckham’s group must settle on an agreement to purchase the county land before receiving approval from Major League Soccer to bring an expansion franchise to Miami. The stadium will not be open until year 2021 since they are still waiting for Miami’s approval.