Beckham’s Miami MLS stadium doesn’t even have a site, actually

Reader challenge! Pretend you are a TV news reporter writing for this whole new Interweb thing. Finish this sentence:

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County will begin talks this week with a group led by David Beckham to hammer out details of a pro-soccer stadium.

The big question is

Your options are:

  1. …why they need it?
  2. …who will pay for it?
  3. …where to put it?

Okay, that was an easy one: It’s #3, because who cares about money when you can look at Google Maps and throw darts? (Note to readers: Don’t actually do that. You could damage your screen.) Not that CBS Miami’s Gary Nelson actually mentions any specific sites, mind you, not even the site that prospective team owner David Beckham was reportedly eyeing back in November, but he does cite county commissioner Xavier Suarez as being able to “envision a stadium at the port and a network of pedestrian walkways and overpasses tying it and all of downtown’s parks and art and sports venues together,” which if you close your eyes, yes, yes, I can see it too!

County commissioner Bruno Barriero also promises: “The stadium is definitely going to be built out of the private sector’s wallet. We are not, under any circumstances, going to fund the construction of the stadium.” That’s pretty unlikely given recent MLS stadium projects, all of which have at least included free land and/or tax breaks, but it’s a nice promise, anyway. Now to see whether the commission can be held to it — and by “now” I mean of course “not until several months from now when the stadium is a fait accompli and people can actually discuss how to pay for it.”

[UPDATE: Beckham is starting “negotiations” with the county, effective today! Which means talking about possible sites, as many as 30 of them. As for money, the Miami Herald reports that “Beckham’s investors have hired a Tallahassee lobbyist to go after potential state funds.” That’d be a way around the county not chipping in, certainly, but it would mean that Bruce Barriero has a funny definition of “the private sector’s wallet.”]

One comment on “Beckham’s Miami MLS stadium doesn’t even have a site, actually


    The principal of the architecture firm tasked with creating this rendering is selling it as such:
    ““It has the potential of bringing back that feeling the Orange Bowl had. It should be informal and relaxed and open, a place where you just go to the game.””

    You know what other stadium had an authentic Orange Bowl feeling? THE ORANGE BOWL. Which you people just recently tore down.

    John Alschuler, “Beckham’s New York-based real-estate advisor”, also has some doozies:
    “The mix of uses and open space on the site, he said, satisfies requirements set by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and would ensure it will be a vital, active part of downtown Miami. Stadiums plunked down by themselves without a broader development strategy usually fail to improve their surroundings”,
    which is preceded by:
    “Arquitectonica’s stadium renderings show four accompanying buildings on the western portion of the parcel. Those are conceptual and meant only to suggest how a fully developed site might look…The group does not want to actually build out the commercial projects, Alschuler stressed. But it would be willing to serve as the site’s “master developer,” charging the county a fee to create a plan for the property and manage it.”

    This is also fun:
    “Alschuler concedes that the site poses complex “landlord-tenant issues,” including where to put parking for more than 5,000 cars.”

    “The team also cannot afford to pay for a multistory parking garage by itself, but has proposed sharing one with Royal Caribbean.”

    Lastly, of course, the cost of the whole project:
    “The plaza, ringed by dining and retail establishments, would be programmed by the team with outdoor film screenings, concerts, World Cup broadcasts and other events throughout the year. The stadium would face the plaza with shops, maybe a Beckham museum, and open terraces. It would also have a nightclub open year-round to the public.”
    “Still to be determined, he said, is how the cost of public improvements, such as the pedestrian path, a baywalk and the plaza, would be covered. He said it should be split in some equitable proportion between the team and local government.”

    To wit: As a “public improvement”, Miami could receive a David Beckham museum, for which it would be expected to pay.

    This sounds like an awesome deal all around!