By CAITLIN MURRAY
Plans for a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami just became a little more real.
David Beckham and the ownership group behind efforts to bring MLS to Miami will unveil stadium designs Monday, according to a report by the Miami Herald. The proposed 25,000-seat stadium at PortMiami would feature an open-air design showcasing the city’s skyline as a backdrop.
The site plan also calls for a plaza with restaurants, shops, a nightclub and space for outdoor events. The stadium and plaza would be connected to downtown Miami via an unused drawbridge that would be converted for pedestrian use.
But not everyone is on board with putting a soccer stadium at PortMiami, the seaport on Biscayne Bay outside Miami. Royal Caribbean Cruises, whose headquarters are next to the site, and some Miami-Dade County commissioners have raised concerns about traffic and interference with port operations. The MiamiPort design also poses “complex landlord-tenant issues” when it comes to space for parking 5,000 cars, Beckham’s group has conceded.
It’s clear PortMiami is the favored location of Beckham and his investors, but they do have three backup locations in mind: land next to Marlins Park; an industrial plot near the Miami airport’s car rental locations; and near Florida International University at Tamiami Park.
Beckham’s group was awarded an expansion franchise earlier this year and they hope the yet-unnamed team will begin league play in 2017.
Check out more renderings of the proposed stadium below:
What do you think of these designs? How does it compare to the stadiums already in MLS? Think Beckham’s group can work things out with those worried about the impact of the new stadium?
Share your thoughts below.