By FRANCO PANIZO
David Beckham has made a well-known secret officially public: He wants to build a soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami.
Beckham made his latest visit to Florida on Monday to talk to media about his plans to build a beautiful, 25,000-seat stadium on Dodge Island in downtown Miami. Beckham also talked about the opposition he is facing for the the plot of land in the southwest corner of the port, which some cruise lines want for their own plans for development.
“I want to change their minds,’’ Beckham told reporters Monday, a little more than a month since being awarded an MLS expansion franchise that is contingent on securing a stadium deal. “I don’t want to be an enemy to the people that are opposed to the stadium. I want to work with them because this is going to be positive for Miami. Ultimately, when you sit at the stadium, you will see the skyline. When a game is played at the stadium, it will not only be seen in America, but it will be seen worldwide.”
While that issue will likely need to be sorted out in the coming months, Beckham has another one he will try to begin to resolve on Tuesday. The soccer icon, who again stated that funding for the stadium would not come from the public, is set to head north to Tallahassee on Tuesday to meet with government officials about a state subsidy worth approximately $2 million yearly that other professional sports teams in the Sunshine State receive.
“We want to be treated like every other franchise,” said Beckham. “We’re not asking for anything more or anything less.”
There are also traffic concerns regarding the project, which is estimated to be worth $200 million, but Beckham detailed some possible solutions while also saying that he has never left a stadium where there wasn’t traffic.
Beckham’s group had unveiled renderings of their proposed design Monday as part of a push to build public support for the project.
The wheels may be in motion, but plenty of work lies ahead for Beckham and his group if they are to make this open-air stadium dream on the port become a reality in the coming years.
“For me, Miami is all about the weather and its culture,” Beckham said. “I don’t think people see that enough.”
What do you think of Beckham’s plans? Do you expect him and his group to get the PortMiami site that they are so keen on? Think they will get that subsidy from the state?
Share your thoughts below.