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Beckham shifts focus to downtown boat slip for Miami stadium

Claure Beckham (Getty Images)


The PortMiami dream that David Beckham shared publicly just three months ago is all but dead. The pursuit for a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Miami is not.

Beckham and his group of investors have made the decision to move away from wanting to build a stadium in PortMiami and instead are interested in acquiring a location near the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena that is currently a deep-water boat slip. The decision comes a couple of weeks after Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez suggested that area as a potential home for an MLS franchise and following strong opposition from Royal Caribbean and others about Beckham’s desire to build a stadium on the nearby port in the southwest corner of Dodge Island.

Any plans to build a stadium on the boat slip would require approval from city voters. If approved, Beckham’s group would have to then fill the water basin to build a stadium that is closer to 20,000 seats than the initial PortMiami target of 25,000.

“Our goal has always been to build a great stadium along the waterfront,” John Alschuler, Beckham’s real-estate adviser, told the Miami Herald. “We view this as a meaningful step in the right direction.”

Gimenez added: “I honestly have to say this is Plan A, and, now, the port is Plan B.”

There are still some political hurdles for Beckham to overcome in order to secure a deal on the boat-slip that would green light his plans for an MLS franchise, and it is likely that this location change could further delay the global icon’s timeline to get an agreement in place.

Beckham had hoped to have something agreed upon by the summer, but he might have to wait until November now due to the referendum that needs passing.

An early design of Beckham’s soccer stadium, according to the Herald, show it next to the AmericanAirlines Arena and Biscayne Boulevard. The stadium would be shorter than the basketball arena, but it is probable that Beckham’s facility would be expandable in the future.


What do you think of Beckham and his group looking at the boat-slip as the preferred location for a soccer-specific stadium? Think this approach will end successfully for them? Still holding out hope for PortMiami?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. This too would be a beautiful location for a stadium. The views would be amazing.

    I will bet though that local residents will be far more opposed to this location than the port island. Closer to their backyard and whatnot.

  2. Btw towards the middle of the attached link someone made an image of Rio Tinto imposed on Museum Park w/ the slip filled in. Gives you an idea of what everything would look like in the end.

    Miami ends up with more park space along the water and the view of the high-rises isn’t obscured.

    Please please please make this happen. This is by far the most reasonable option

  3. I was hoping Becks would cut a deal with Royal Caribbean. Something along the lines of “I will drop all plans to build on your Port, if you guys throw your backing behind us getting a stadium at the new site…feel free to pay some cash and sponsor the stadium too.”

    I guess he is moving on, but I don’t think he cut quite that deal haha

  4. So nycfc will get their fancy stadium latest 2018-19 ,Orlando gets their stadium in 2016, Atlanta will get their nfl stadium in 2017 and Miami will get theirs latest 2016.
    Therefore, will Miami join the league in 2016 making it 22 teams then Atlanta will come in with the surprise expansion team Las Vegas in 2017.
    Because the way it looks, Las Vegas has everything MLS is asking for and their stadium can actually be ready before all these expansion teams.
    If I was garber, I would get Las Vegas now before nba or MLB gets their first. Imagine having L.A, Miami, NYC, and Las Vegas in MLS, that’s a fancy league 😉 too bad Chicago has a sucky team and stadium
    Or could chivas USA move to Vegas and Sacramento becomes the 24th team.
    I final thought, the race for 25,26,27,28 is going to get lunatic, if you include okc, Austin, cosmos, Nashville , nc, Indy, st.louis, a Canadian city, ( Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Antonio, Vegas)
    I smell MLS 2 🙂

  5. Filling in 9 acres of open water is going to raise some serious environmental issues (and probable opposition).

  6. i think this happens without many problems. everyone seems to be okay with it. that “Alliance” said they don’t care, which is something. it increases the value of the land and creates additional land. it’s private money. no one seems to be coming out against it. PortMiami had immediate detractors. i guess we’ll see what happens in the vote…

  7. Let’s build it! During the low seasons we could use drug dealers, criminals and sex predators as “gladiators” and enjoy watching how they compete with each other on the arena… Gosh! I miss the Roman Empire! Things were more simpler back then…

  8. Wow well this could be very anti-climatic.

    “Hey, you guys get to build a stadium thats right next to another stadium and a highway. Congratulations!!!!…and youre welcome.” – city of Miami

  9. Soccer is universal. It will pass the referendum clean and the new stadium will open a door for european focus in our city. Transporting access is perfect with the rail and mover… just ignore the pesimist crowd and bring it on!

  10. drive in pilings….build the stadium on the pilings….with water underneath….the cooling effect in August will be life savings

  11. The second choice near tha AAA is much less controversial. If you’re still lookung for a classy name title for our soccer team then I ‘ve got the perfect one fir yoy to consider: “Miami Reefs” thanks.

  12. This sounds like a better (more feasible) than the port one but still not really a good fealing about it.

    In order to have a successful team you gotta have a community that wants you there! An MLS creation like this might be a big fail. I agree that a Miami team (that is done right) would be a huge step for MLS but this has trainwreck writen all over it.

  13. A referendum… lol…

    Yeah, this is not going to happen. It almost makes me think they’re trying to kill the deal.

    • The estimated cost of filling the slip is like 15 million (make that 45 million because, well, it’s Miami). Beckham has already said their group is willing to pay 250 million for the stadium so if they have to pony up for that out of their own pocket so be it. By filling the slip and building the stadium there’d actually be a net INCREASE in land area for museum park. If beckham does this all with private funding I see no reason for the public to say no.

      But then again, this is Miami so much weirder things have happened.

      • You’re making arguments that are rational and cost-benefit based.

        But that’s not how voters think about stadiums. They’ve been conditioned by bad NFL and MLB deals and “urban planning experts” to hate stadiums and think every stadium deal is the same and its all a swindle.

        When’s the last time that voters approved a stadium deal in a referendum? And in MIAMI of all places after the Marlins debacle?

      • I’ve been there after a Heat game has let out and traffic was a nightmare. Unless Beckahm and MLS are willing to go on record and schedule games around Heat games (and concerts), the voters will likely vote against due to increased traffic concerns. (See how the GSW’s new arena got shot down in SF)

      • This location actually looks more centrally located than the port location. I wonder if they had this spot in mind all along…..

  14. There may be an unintentionally funny error here. A boat slip is a spot for a single boat. I think the site is a marina. It’s like the difference between a parking space and a parking lot.

    • It’s a deepwater boat slip. Big enough for a cruise ship or cargo container ship.

      We’re not talking about where you dock your fishing boat. Have you seen the site?

      • No. I’m just relying on my (admittedly limited) sense of the terminology. Do big ships go into a “berth” as opposed to a “slip”? Have I gotten far enough off topic for everyone?

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