Beckham, Miami agree on stadium location


MLS Writer

At long last, progress has been made on David Beckham’s Miami plans. Beckham and the city have agreed to start negotiations on building a soccer-specific stadium at the site of the now-demolished Orange Bowl, next to the Miami Marlins’ baseball stadium.

There had been rumors that Beckham was interested in partnering with the University of Miami on a stadium that would house both the MLS team and the University’s football team. But for now, Beckham’s group is planning to build this stadium alone, without the university.

To be clear, this is just a first step; MLS has seen that even with a location, building a stadium can be a complicated, lengthy matter. But Beckham’s group has pledged to build the stadium entirely with private funding, which will smooth that process somewhat.

In theory, if everything were to go as planned, Miami’s MLS team could take the field as soon as 2018.

The avoidance of public funding is partly a good gesture by Beckham, and partly a necessity. Miami-Dade County is still on the hook for hundreds millions of dollars related to the construction of Marlins Park, which has soured the public on funding stadiums for anyone.

This news comes more than a year after Beckham held a press conference with Major League Soccer announcing his intention to bring a team to the city. Beckham’s group identified several waterfront sites over that time, but the city and county rebuffed those ideas.

As time went on, the league and fans grew impatient with the process, but a firm deadline was never set, which allowed the matter to exist in a sort of limbo. MLS, citing their Miami experiences, set a more concrete deadline for progress with Minnesota United’s expansion plans.

The North American Soccer League announced a Miami expansion team in late May. Miami FC is owned by Ricardo Silva and one-time Beckham teammate Paolo Maldini, and they plan to begin play in 2016. They have stated that they don’t intend to build a stadium of their own just yet, and will play at an existing venue for the near future.



Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 399
  • Comb

    why would Miami even want an MLS team, they already have an NASL one

    • Anonymous

      sorta two of them

      • slowleftarm

        No one wants to be a minor league city.

  • chepe

    Teams like Barcelona or real Madrid could not sell out the stadium in their friendlies there in Miami.

    • john

      In Sun Life Stadium, Miami that holds 75k?
      73,429 Brazil v Colombia September 5, 2014
      70,780 Guadalajara vs Barcelona 2011
      67,273 Real Madrid vs Chelsea ICC 2013
      67,273 AC Milan vs LA Galaxy ICC 2013

      Compared to some int. friendlies in NY, Indy, Philly, Phx

      39,764 Milan v Chelsea MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, ICC2013
      41,983 Chelsea v Inter Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis,
      38,922 Real Madrid v LA Galaxy, University of Phoenix Stadium, ICC2013
      38,624, November 14, 2012, Brazil v Colombia MetLife Stadium
      12,169, 2 August 2014, Inter v Roma, Lincoln Financial Field

      • john

        However Miami should build at 18-20,000 with potential to expand, not 25,000 straight away.

        • Anonymous

          Small is the way to go.

          MLS is a very different product than world football megaclubs.
          People who pay top dollar to see Barcelona might not be so eager to catch an MLS wednesday night match

      • Zachary

        Thanks, John. Chepe, do you feel pretty silly after this? You should.

        • Nat Mac

          Those are giant crowds but Chepe is correct, they aren’t technically sellouts. Sun Life holds 76,100.

  • mickey f

    nasl teams can’t even win a game against USL opponents (0-7), their Miami team is not a legit competitor vs. an MLS club. Kind of like the cosmos only getting 3K at their games when NYC is getting 28K.
    + Miami MLS team will get some big stars on it b/c of location and DP money…

  • Gotham

    Just wait david,wait.
    Garber will expand to 26 teams than later, and your dream stadium can become a reality.
    There’s no hurry, bring in Sacramento,then miami with vegas.
    Anyone know if this is a legit stadium location.
    Only if he can buy red.bull, or join the Cosmos group and bring them to MLS.

  • The future of Moneyball in MLS?

    Imagine this scenario for a moment (yeah, there will be trolls and haters)

    Look at the NYRB’s payroll investment and reduction of local promotion which was small/misguided to begin with. Geez, even the Cosmos had a billboard on Rt280 next to RBA (and Marsch said he didn’t know it was there).

    Marsch & Curtis have been given a ‘caretaker’s’ contract for only 1 year. Can anyone find another new regime in any sport given only 1 year? Could it be that there is no year 2 in the future for Marsch/Curtis/Austria? There should be a new reality show starring Curtis called “Flip This Franchise”.

    Sure looks and smells like RB is gearing up for a sale.

    NYRB’s MLS seat could be sold to the eventual 24th franchise (Miami?) and NYCFC will take over RBA. It was already exposed that Austria will accept 300K for NYRB.

    The Steinbrenners tried to get a foothold in NJ in the 70s, in short time, they will have it through their investment in soccer.

    It this happens, everyone wins. Austria gets the out that they want. Harrison, NJ gets rid of the no tax paying deadbeats. NYCFC gets the stadium they can’t get. Becks gets his team. MLS is back in the Southeast. Sacramento isn’t knocked out by Miami or Minnesota. MLS gets the Minnesota market away from NASL. MLS gets a new market in Sacramento and the balanced 24 team system they’ve always wanted and a sold out jewel with real backing and superstars in the #1 market.

    There is so much upside for Sac/Min/Mia to take RBs seat amongst the 24. Chivas made way for LAFC why couldn’t NYRB could make way for Miami (or Sacramento).

    Imagine NYCFC bringing most of their $18K STHs to Harrison while hopefully keeping 7,000 Metro/RB holdovers who would probably not give up the ghost after 20 years. End result: a sold out RBA for all 17 home games, soon to be NYCFC “Central Park” (couldn’t resist re-naming RBA already). Becks gets his team (plus Minnesota) and Sacramento isn’t shut out.

    But is it blasphemy to lose the Red Bull soda brand? Don’t know, but the Jersey Red fans eventually accepted RB when the Metro brand was killed off.

    NY/NJ would lose the newly minted Red/Blue derby, but as the USOC proved, the Blue/Green derby ain’t so bad. Not only a NY derby, but match between two leagues that don’t like each other. More interest, more money.

    NASL is trying to get on level with MLS, not unlike like the AFL took on the NFL in the 1960s. The current Jets/Giants aren’t a rivalry, but this town was on it’s ear for the Jets/AFL v Giants/NFL hated clashes in the 60s. If NYRB does sell to Sac or Mia leaving 1 MLS & 1 NASL team in NY, there should be an annual friendly (which would be anything but friendly) between NYCFC/MLS and the NY Cosmos/NASL.

    A long shot? Yeah, but money wins out and this makes more money for so many.

    Okay haters/trolls, take your shots.

    • Nat Mac

      Very interesting. Can’t speak to all the plot twists in your theories but the cost cutting and lack of high profile DP signings by RBNY is probably a good indication that they aren’t in it for the long haul.

      Biggest question: if NYCFC were to move out of the 5 boroughs would they really retain their fans? Most of them are very provincial about exactly where the team plays. Or will having had NYCFC play for some portion of their existence in NYC not make that an issue?

  • Nat Mac

    What changed since last June??

    Major League Soccer doesn’t want David Beckham’s Miami stadium to be located next to the Marlins Park in Little Havana.

    “No — we’re not considering that location,” MLS President Mark Abbott told the Miami Herald. “Our strong belief is that, to be successful, it needs to be downtown.”

Warning: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 136