Beckham shows how to squeeze a soccer stadium into Overtown site by sucking in tummy

David Beckham’s MLS ownership group issued a rendering of its proposed stadium in the Overtown section of Miami this week — sort of. See if you can spot the qualifier:

beckham-stadium-renderingOkay, that wasn’t hard, as it’s right there in blue type: The stadium probably won’t look anything like this undulating-mesh weirdness, but it’ll be kind of that size, and look! There’s even room for sidewalks, kind of!

I’m not entirely convinced, frankly, given that from the looks of this one rendering, the back of the seating bowl is going to have to be cantilevered out practically over some lanes of traffic in order to make it work. But hey, as I’ve noted before, stadiums squeezed into tight spaces can make for fun, compact designs, so if Beckham’s architects think they can make this work, more power to them.

Meanwhile, on the funding front, it looks like Beckham really will pay all construction costs and applicable property taxes, which is a big improvement over his previous stadium plans, and a nice mini-trend after Orlando City S.C. recently made a similar decision around its new soccer stadium. (It’s still not entirely clear if Beckham will pay full price for the one-third of the site that’s owned by the county, but that’s a lesser issue than paying property taxes.) Is this a sign that cities really can get team owners to pay for their own buildings by pushing back on subsidy demands? Or just that MLS is weird? Stay tuned for more data points.

13 comments on “Beckham shows how to squeeze a soccer stadium into Overtown site by sucking in tummy

  1. I think it has more to do with old anti soccer guys . Billions more will be spent on other sports in Florida. Also keep in mind that foreign ownership didn’t get government subsidies in Europe and South America and therefore have an easier time accepting none.

  2. Steven: It took 2-3 years of groveling for public funds before Orlando City — owned by an Englishman and a Brazilian — finally threw their hands up and paid their own way for their stadium.

    I wouldn’t say foreign owners have an easier saying “no” to subsidies, as much as they’re more open to spending more of their own money on these projects when push comes to shove.

  3. Yeah, I don’t think it’s anymore likely that foreigners look at sports stadia in the US and think, “Oh, we’re from overseas so we’ll just pay for it ourselves,” than they look at it and say, “Hey, we can buy a team in the US and maybe get a free f*cking stadium because…. HA HA HA, stupid Americans.”

  4. This might be one of my favorite vaportecture drawings of all time. It literally looks like some aliens dropped the stadium from the sky and squashed everything underneath it. You can see the poor trees poking out from the bottom. And, in contrast to all other vaportecture, they didn’t bother to add people milling outside the the stadium or inside enjoying the game. Kind of like the first rendition of the “fake Rock Ridge” in Blazing Saddles.

  5. Can’t these Florida teams apply for some kind of tax rebate if they host a certain number of events? IIRC the state has a program to give rebates to stadium owners even if the stadium has already been built. Maybe I’m misremembering.

  6. You can apply, but nobody’s actually been successful in getting any approved yet:

    But yes, it’s always conceivable Beckham will ask for state money later, just because.

  7. Actually Orlando City walked away from public funds when the anti soccer politics at the state level changed the rules for sports teams to get a tax break right after a soccer team asked for equal treatment. @ Kia name one American 1% er who has ever stop grovelling after 2 to 3 years. Let alone left millions in corporate welfare on the table.

  8. I guess the might suggest that Florida could change the rules for all teams, not just soccer, and come out with new stadiums and lower public costs? Why make it about “anti soccer” (another strange charge for a state that excels in the sport)?

    Sadly, Washington DC didn’t get the memo, but that city council would build a stadium for a Buzkashi team if only someone would ask.

  9. Yes, it’s some kind of “anti soccer” bias. Has nothing to do with relative popularity compared to the major sports leagues.

  10. At Keith. Orlando newspaper takes poll each year of popularity of local teams and the soccer teams won over the NBA team , which BTW has received over a billion in subsidies. The Florida Panthers can’t give away tickets and they just got 90million. I guess hockey in Florida is more popular then 30000 people a game for Orlando City soccer games.

  11. @JC — heck, it even looks like it landed on and somehow obliterated the very shadow of the building in the bottom right corner.

  12. An internet poll in the newspaper? That would never be subject to any kind of inaccurate result, right?

    Soccer is a great sport, but its Super Fans will again bring it down in the US by making it inaccessible to the casual fan through tiresome rhetoric.

  13. Orlando City popularity is everywhere in central Florida. That’s fact ! Why no mention of attendance ? Fact is rules for applying for state tax break of 2mil a year changed when soccer owners got in line.