Deal for Beckham's Miami soccer stadium land gets approval

Posted June 07, 2017

After a four-year quest, David Beckham on Tuesday finally secured land to build a soccer stadium in Miami after county commissioners approved selling him three acres for $9 million. There's also skepticism about the Beckham group's plan to build a stadium with no on-site parking, with plans instead to rely on shuttles, walking and public transportation.

Miami-Dade commissioners voted 9-4 in favor of a $9 million deal to sell the land for the stadium, which the group has agreed to privately fund, in the city's Overtown neighborhood.

The group released a statement, saying: "We're thrilled that we're getting closer to our kick-off".

Beckham's group finally has a plot for the stadium four years after they were granted a spot in Major League Soccer. Miami Beckham United also must get formal MLS approval for the Miami team - it was always contingent on a stadium deal - and finalize ownership and stadium financing deals.

After Tuesday's agreement, that intention is much closer to reality.

But finding suitable land in crowded Miami proved hard.

The stadium would be the economic driver in the neighbourhood as Overtown is known to have endured economic difficulties.

"He will be a happy man today", Leiweke said.

I firmly believe that the sale of this property, as well as the subsequent soccer stadium, will leave a lasting positive impact on the community. Hanks noted Beckham still needs to receive approval from the city of Miami before he can move forward on a venue.

Beckham played his last MLS match in 2012 and formally announced Miami's expansion bid in early 2014. "You can't say the same thing for the [NFL's] Hard Rock Stadium, and that's been there for decades".

The deal that allowed the Miami Marlins to get a new taxpayer-built ballpark on the former Orange Bowl site is still the source of major contention for the city and the county.

The process was lengthy, difficult, but necessary in order to ensure that Miami-Dade County taxpayers were properly compensated.

Miami already has championship-winning teams, such as the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, and Miami Marlins.

FILE - In this February 5, 2014, file photo, David Beckham, surrounded by Miami-Dade police officers, fans and reporters, arrives at Kendall Soccer Park to visit and greet South Florida soccer fans and players in Miami.

Beckham is not the only huge global name pursuing MLS expansion these days; Landon Donovan has joined the ownership group that is hoping to bring a team to San Diego - but it has not been easy going either.