Beckham group now has no idea at all where exactly it wants to build a Miami soccer stadium

Having already hinted at looking at other sites in Miami for a new soccer stadium than the long-considered Overtown site, David Beckham’s new ownership partner Jorge Mas completely blew up the not-yet-actually-existing team’s stadium plans yesterday by declaring that he’s looking at “five or so” sites, including some not actually in Miami:

“We’re actively looking at five or so sites,” said Jorge Mas, the Miami executive who became the public face of Beckham’s stadium hunt after he and brother José joined the partnership late last year. “There are a handful of sites that are interesting.”…

In an interview with the Miami Herald, Mas said Overtown remains a possibility. But he gave his strongest indication yet that the partnership, which includes Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller, is starting fresh with a new list of stadium sites.

Mas described a winnowing process under way among the partners that will settle on two finalists within the next two months.

The Miami Herald proceeds to list the frontrunners as: land on the Hialeah Park and Casino site; land near Jackson Memorial Hospital; the Melreese golf course site that has been previously discussed; Overtown; and a Pepsi distribution center in Doral.

Is this a sign that the Beckham-Mas group is casting its net as wide as possible in desperation for land the owners can get ahold of? That they’re looking to play different municipalities against each other in some kind of bidding war? (Mas did tout the stadium as “a job creator.”) That the new guy in the room, notwithstanding the years that have already been spent looking at stadium sites, figured, hey, I bet I can find a better stadium site than this one if I put my mind to it? Your guess is as good as mine, and it looks like we’re going to have plenty of time to speculate while waiting to see if Miami can get an MLS team before it needs to switch to water polo.


15 comments on “Beckham group now has no idea at all where exactly it wants to build a Miami soccer stadium

  1. I keep imagining poor Beckham covered in mud or soot, giving us the familiar Oliver Hardy long stare

  2. I thought the location of Hialeah Park was the main reason it lost out to Gulfstream among horse players. Maybe soccer fans will be less finicky. I’m going to go off the board here and predict this team spends a number of years in Fort Lauderdale.

    • Why would Marlins Park not be considered? The city and country already sank a half-billion into that place, why not put it to use? While I am not of Miami, I feel as though the soccer people have largely ignored known factors in Miami. For a long time, they have seemed to think that the car culture of Miami is just a myth in wanting to build a stadium in a residential neighborhood. The inevitable problems of rain, heat, and humidity apparently played no role in wanting to build a new open air stadium. It would stand to reason that the new domed stadium in Miami that is owned by the county would make sense. MLS already has one team play in a MLB stadium, and the dimensions of Marlins Park would probably be more accommodating. It wouldn’t make the stadium deal any less of a highway robbery, but it would at least make use of the stadium an additional 15-20 times per year.

      • Probably a revenue issue. Marlins would get a large cut of parking and concessions. No naming rights money either. Also ego issues. David Beckham, who expects to be knighted, isn’t going to be some lowly renter. You simply can not knight a renter.

        • That might well be the case, but having a dome would probably be the most secure way to get people through the turnstiles. Once again, I am not a Floridian, but I can overlay the number of rainy days in Miami with the MLS calendar and see that this might be an issue.

          https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainy-days,Miami,United-States-of-America

          Maybe this is an ego thing, maybe this is a cultural thing with the foreign investors (Beckham included), but given the relative lack of tv revenue in that league I would think the smartest approach would be to try and get as many people in the stadium as possible. While the Marlins found a way to screw it up, the idea of a dome in that city still conceptually makes sense. Are the revenues from concessions and occasional concert or kids league rental really worth enough to offset more security with attendance?

          • Soccer players are used to playing in the rain, so you don’t need a full dome, just a roof over the stands. Which the Overtown stadium was already going to have, I believe.

  3. Not a soccer (or a baseball) fan but even I have to admit that Marlins Park doesn’t really work for soccer. View from seats appears to be terrible.

    https://goo.gl/images/13Q3pJ

    • Yeah, and MLS would love to have NYCFC out of Yankee stadium too. It just looks bad…

      If a baseball stadium was designed with accommodating soccer in mind from the beginning, it isn’t impossible to make it work after a fashion. However, the baseball team would have to accept a lot of foul territory (which means infield seating quite some way from the diamond). The soccer team would also be encumbered by pitch limitations… and the “behind home plate” seats for baseball would also be a long way from the near side of the pitch.

      Without moveable seating sections (hard to do with a grass field), it doesn’t work well.

        • Or RFK, which was a fine home for DC United when they were winning, but then new fancy stadiums came along and suddenly it was a crack house.

        • If the Oakland coliseum had been configured a little differently, maybe. The problem with both it and RFK is that the pitch had to be shoehorned in ‘where it would fit’, which meant that the viewing angles weren’t great and large areas of what should have been premium sideline seating had no seating at all.

          Some years ago I noodled around with the layout of a baseball stadium that would also accept a full sized soccer/football pitch within the ‘infield’ for the most part. It can be done, but the resulting infield seating sections end up being more or less hexagonal in layout. Not ideal for either sport, but if a shared stadium is a must it can be done.

          As with the renos to BMO field in Toronto, though, you might find it is cheaper to build a dedicated 20k stadium for one and a 35-40k stadium for the other. Sometimes two facilities are cheaper than one…

          • The viewing angles at RFK were fine. The field was smaller than a standard field but still within FIFA regulations. You can fit a soccer stadium in baseball stadium if parts of the stadium can move.

            The main problem with RFK was the city charged DC United $7 million I yearly rent, Congress blocked any naming rights sale, the city controlled the luxury box revenue and the city and DCU both kept deferring maintenance to push the idea they needed a new soccer stadium (and to free the land up for a possible new NFL stadium).

  4. Anyone who says a roof over the stands will protect fans from summer thunderstorms has never experienced a tropical downpour. The 30 mph gusts basically guarantees it will rain sideways. This happens here everyday between 1pm – 4pm, April through November. I also doubt players will play while there is cloud-to-ground lightning. The roof is more for the sun than to protect the fans from rain.

    (I’ve also been at Hard Rock Stadium during a thunderstorm and 1/3 of the lower deck clears out.)