SBD/March 24, 2014/Facilities

Beckham's MLS Group To Unveil Open-Air Stadium Design For PortMiami Site

A new stadium would frame full-frontal views of Miami's skyline and bayfront
David Beckham's MLS ownership group today is "set to unveil its design for a European-style, open-air" stadium at PortMiami that "would frame full-frontal views of the downtown skyline and bayfront," according to a front-page piece by Viglucci & Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. The venue would feature "an undulating canopy and create a new public plaza reminiscent of Rome’s Spanish Steps at the water’s edge on Biscayne Bay." HR&A Advisors Chair John Alschuler, Beckham's real-estate advisor, said, "We think it’s time to share our vision." He added that the stadium blueprint is a collaboration between Miami-based Arquitectonica and K.C.-based 360 Architecture designed to "capitalize on a bay location that looks back toward downtown -- providing visitors a spectacular vista." The plan "envisions connecting the stadium and plaza to downtown Miami via an unused drawbridge that would be converted into a linear park for pedestrians." The plaza, "ringed by dining and retail establishments, would be programmed by the team with outdoor film screenings, concerts, World Cup broadcasts and other events throughout the year." The stadium "would face the plaza with shops, maybe a Beckham museum, and open terraces," and would also "have a nightclub open year-round to the public." Alschuler "concedes that the site poses complex 'landlord-tenant issues,' including where to put parking for more than 5,000 cars." However, he said that traffic and scheduling studies conducted by his team "show that games, held mostly at night, would not overlap with cruise ship arrivals or boardings, which take place during the day." While the plan "reasserts the port site as the Beckham group’s strong favorite, the investors say they’re also seriously considering three other sites as backups: land abutting Marlins Park, the preferred alternative; an industrial parcel adjacent to Miami International Airport’s auto-rental and mass-transit hub; and by Florida International University at Tamiami Park" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/24).
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