David Beckham’s Miami Football Club appears it will finally have a stadium to call home. After a 17-month, back-and-forth process, Miami mayor Tomas Regalado announced Friday a tentative deal to build Beckham’s soccer stadium on land adjacent to Marlins Park.
Beckham’s group long fought against building their stadium next to Marlins Park, which Beckham’s partner Simon Fuller called “spiritually tainted” last year. Beckham’s group vowed to privately finance stadium construction, but sought land in Downtown Miami, where they initially hoped to build a stadium on Dodge Island, overlooking Biscayne Bay. The proposal was met with swift opposition. Beckham’s group then proposed building the stadium west of the island on the mainland, right next to AmericanAirlines Arena, but that plan was also quickly shot down.
Running out of options, the land next to Marlins Park was becoming Beckham’s only hope to actually build a stadium in the city of Miami. As far as stadium deals go, Miami is showing some growth after routinely fucking themselves over.
The city didn’t cave to Beckham, will preserve its prime real estate downtown, and will put the stadium where it most logistically makes sense. The public contribution has yet to be finalized, but according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Beckham’s group will not only build the stadium, but compensate Miami for the land, either through an outright purchase or lease. (Valuable land given away for free can often go unnoticed in stadium deals, especially when the construction is privately financed.) Everything seems pretty reasonable so far.
Of course, there will be no guarantees until construction on the stadium actually starts. The University of Miami may still try joining the project in hopes of building a bigger facility that can also house the Hurricanes football team, which currently plays their home games at Sun Life Stadium.
The stadium is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $250 million. Beckham bought into the MLS last February for a (relatively) paltry fee of $25 million, a perk from the contract he signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.
Photo via Associated Press
Thanks to Barry Jackson