David Beckham Could Build MLS Stadium at PortMiami
Dec 18, 2013 December 18, 2013
Although he may be retired from MLS, David Beckham is still stirring up plenty of interest. The latest story to turn heads regarding the British soccer player is his decision to bring his new franchise to Miami. While Beckham could certainly have chosen any city in the world as the home for his new franchise, he ultimately decided on Miami. Originally founded in 1993, the MLS represents the highest level of soccer in the United States as well as Canada. Currently comprised of 19 teams, the MLS has an agreement with Beckham that will allow him to purchase an expansion team at a discounted price of $25 million. That agreement will expire on December 31, 2013 and will not be finalized until Beckham finalizes a stadium plan. The new Orlando team will join a team from New York in 2015, bringing the total number of MLS teams to 21. According to the league, further expansion could take place with the addition of Atlanta in 2017.
Beckham has recently been in Miami scouting locations for the new stadium. His top choice for the new stadium is an area located in the southwest section of Port Miami. Beckham has already formed a group of investors, including Marcelo Claure, to fund the construction of the stadium. The group has formally asked Miami-Dade County if it would consider construction of the stadium on the southwest section of Dodge Island. Approximately 25 acres in that section could be available, which would be sufficient for the construction of a 25,000-seat stadium. Until a new stadium can be built, Beckham's MLS team may need to play in a temporary facility, perhaps even the Miami Marlins' Little Havana ballpark.
The 25-year master plan for Port Miami calls for improved connects between the mainland and the port by redesigning the southwest corner to feature commercial development. Traffic concerns would still need to be addressed. Currently, the island is only accessible by road via Port Boulevard. The new Port Tunnel, which will not be opened until next year, will also provide access.