David Beckham Group Reveals Retooled Design For Proposed Miami MLS Stadium
David Beckham's Miami MLS group yesterday unveiled an "airy, open-roof stadium" for the city's Overtown neighborhood, a "retooled design that still sticks with the central premise that the 25,000-seat soccer venue doesn't need parking facilities," according to Hanks & Vassolo of the MIAMI HERALD. Lawyer Spencer Crowley, who represents Miami Beckham United, said, "We're going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing. We view this as a paradigm shift for the county as to how people get to large events." Beckham representatives yesterday held a town hall in Overtown to "pitch residents on the stadium plan." The unveiling of the new stadium rendering "revealed a design with more air and light than the previous one" shown in December '15. Oak View Group CEO and Miami Beckham United investor Tim Leiweke, who is serving as Beckham's top negotiator, said, "My apologies for bringing you back here again. We have had issues. We have had bumps in the road." With Dodgers co-Owner Todd Boehly "on board" as an investor, the Beckham group is "ready to buy the county land" for $9M under a no-bid deal using the state's economic-development laws. As part of the deal, the Beckham group "promised to create 50 permanent jobs at the stadium." Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, "This is, frankly, I believe our last opportunity here for Miami to have Major League [Soccer]." Miami Beckham United would own the stadium site and is "not pursuing the county subsidies pledged to Miami-Dade's exiting three professional sports teams." Leiweke: "Every penny spent will be ours." A vote for county approval for the new stadium is "expected on June 6." The stadium "would not open" until '21, and Leiweke said that the team could "play in a temporary venue" during construction (MIAMI HERALD, 5/18).
NOT EXACTLY CHUMP CHANGE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Matthew DeFranks notes Overtown and Spring Garden residents "expressed both support and concern" about the potential MLS stadium. Leiweke during the town hall offered a $500M "valuation of the franchise." He said that the figure was what the club "would be worth when it entered the league and not what (Miami Beckham United) would pay for it." Leiweke "estimated the land and development for the stadium would total" $225M, plus $100M for a training center and academy. MLS expansion fees "have risen" to $150M, but Miami's fee "would come at a discount" (South Florida SUN SEN-SENTINEL, 5/18). The SUN-SENTINEL provides an audio recording of the town hall meeting.