David Beckham’s new MLS team could very well be making a change for the better.
While all the attention was on PortMiami, the controversial site for a proposed Miami MLS stadium in an area of the city with limited space and poor access to parking and transportation, David Beckham’s group’s real estate advisor John Alschuler announced on the Ultras Alive podcast that he and Beckham had received a letter from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez asking them if they would consider another piece of land.
However, the land proposed by Gimenez doesn’t even exist yet. Gimenez has proposed filling a massive boat slip between Museum Park and AmericanAirlines Arena which, according to the mayor, would create enough new land for a stadium as well as a pedestrian walkway along Biscayne Bay.
“I think it’s very exciting,” said Beckham to the media after his meetings with Dade County commissioners on Wednesday. “It gives us another option to look at which has come out of the blue which takes us from one great possible location to two.”
The FEC Slip (the boat slip) was under consideration months ago as a potential site for Beckham’s MLS team but was ruled out because by itself it was too small. However, Gimenez added another piece of land just east of the American Airlines Arena known as “Parcel B,” which opens up a whole new side and makes Alschuler and the rest of the Beckham group reconsider everything.
“The mayor’s willingness to add Parcel B to the discussion is a fundamental change because it means the park would be larger and arguably better,” Alschuler said.
However, no one is expecting this to be simpler than the PortMiami idea. It’s actually a lot more difficult.
First of all, the property is owned by the City of Miami, which would have to sell it or transfer it to the county. Secondly, the city charter requires a public vote over the use of any waterfront property.
Not only that, but it’s also not going to be a cheap task to fill that land. Reports have come out saying that it will cost roughly about $18 million just to fill the slip — money that David Beckham and his investors would have to pay, as the city will not give them a dime.
“We said it from day one, we don’t want local taxpayer money,” affirmed Beckham. “The funding for the stadium and the funding to fill in the site for the stadium is something we are very passionate about, if that’s to become a possible site then I think it’s a positive one.”
Alschuler said Miami Beckham United would examine the feasibility of filling the slip, and according to Gimenez, results of the group’s analysis should be completed within the next two weeks.
“Downtown Miami will greatly benefit from the creation of a grand waterfront park that will serve to bring our urban core closer to the water, providing a magnificent bay front walk along Biscayne Bay,” Gimenez wrote. “The uninterrupted green-space would connect the Miami River, through Bayfront Park, to Museum Park, creating and expanding one seamless waterfront pedestrian experience.”
The land next to the American Airlines Arena would be the ideal place for Beckham’s MLS team. Near another stadium, it would give Miami a feeling of togetherness as both soccer and basketball franchises would be playing next to each other.
Also, its location is ideal. There’s no need half a mile and over a bridge in the blazing hot sun. There’s no need to bring traffic congestion to the bridge. The location is near the convenient MetroRail station. And it’s right next to the water, just like Beckham wants it.
What are your thoughts regarding the new stadium site that could potentially be the home of Miami’s MLS team?