Miami-Dade commissioner backs $300M David Beckham soccer stadium deal
- A key member of Miami-Dade County's Board of County Commissioners has given her approval for a $9 million land purchase that puts a David Beckham–led group closer to closing a Major League Soccer franchise and stadium deal estimated at $300 million, according to the Miami Herald.
- Audrey Edmonson represents the Overtown neighborhood of Miami — where the 3-acre parcel is located — and sought feedback from those in her district before agreeing to the sale, which gives Miami Beckham United the land it needs for a 25,000-seat venue. Beckham purchased 6 acres of the proposed site last year for $19 million.
- The city must still approve the deal, as well as the stadium design, which will not include parking facilities. Beckham has agreed to provide 2,000 parking spots somewhere near the stadium, which will be privately financed, and transport fans via shuttle bus.
The Beckham group had floundered somewhat prior to bringing billionaire investment banker Todd Boehly on board in April. The MLS reportedly found this added layer of stability a plus as it considers whether to give its final approval for a Miami franchise. The Overtown site is Beckham's fourth attempt to secure a site for the stadium in Miami in the three years since announcing the plan.
If Beckham's group wins final approval for the franchise and stadium, it will join a growing list of investors who are either underway or in the planning stages of soccer venues across the U.S.
Washington, DC, fans will likely be able to cheer on soccer team D.C. United at their new $300 million, 19,400-seat stadium — named Audi Field thanks to a $4 million-per-year naming rights deal — starting in the 2018 season. The project broke ground in March after zoning and planning battles around the venue's design and its impact on local businesses and residents. The city is splitting the cost of stadium construction with the team. The project will also include a retail component and possibly a future mixed-use project across the street.
Developers in San Diego have also proposed a soccer stadium complex, privately financed like the Beckham project, for the current site of Qualcomm Stadium now that the Chargers have moved to Los Angeles. The $2.5 billion SoccerCity development would feature a $200 million, 30,000-seat stadium, but would eventually include a trolley system and a 55-acre park. However, other groups have submitted alternative proposals for the stadium site.
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