- The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has approved a $9 million property purchase that will give an investment group, led by international soccer star David Beckham, the land it needs to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Miami, according to the Miami Herald.
- As part of the deal, Beckham's group agreed to spend at least $175 million on the privately financed stadium and employ a minimum of 50 people there full-time. Previous estimates have put the stadium and franchise deal at approximately $300 million, and team officials most recently indicated that development costs should be approximately $220 million.
- The project must now win approval from the city of Miami, where prospective neighbors have pushed back against the potential noise and light disruption from future stadium operations. The group expects to present its final proposal to city officials in 2018 and hopes to open the new stadium by 2020.
The Beckham group's attempts at securing land and getting the Miami stadium plans approved had been somewhat stop-and-go prior to bringing on billionaire investment banker Todd Boehly in April. Major League Soccer officials reportedly wanted to see the stability that Boehly brings to the group as part of its franchise decision.
Now, one step closer to the goal of a new franchise and MLS stadium, Beckham and related investors join a host of other soccer groups with similar plans underway or in the pipeline. Crews started construction in August on the Los Angeles Football Club's new privately funded, $250 million Banc of California soccer stadium project. The complex will also feature a soccer museum, office and conference space, restaurants and retail space.
In the nation's capital, D.C. United fans could have a new $300 million, 19,400-seat stadium in time for the 2018 Major League Soccer season. The project, which will include retail space and the possibility for a future mixed-use development nearby, broke ground in March after a lengthy and, at times, contentious review process with the city's zoning commission.
San Diego developers have also proposed a soccer complex to replace the current site of the Chargers' Qualcomm Stadium, now that the NFL team has moved to Los Angeles. The SoccerCity development would represent a $2.5 billion investment and feature a $200 million, 30,000-seat stadium as its centerpiece.