By FRANCO PANIZO
The difficulty in finding space for a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Miami is reportedly forcing David Beckham to look further north. Specifically, Broward County.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Broward County commissioner Stacy Ritter said Thursday that Beckham’s group is now willing to listen to what county officials have to say about building a soccer stadium. Talks between the two parties are expected to be held soon, and Ritter said that county-owned land near the Florida Panthers’ NHL arena in Sunrise would be a “great fit” for the stadium.
“Beckham’s group was very unhappy with the parcel that Miami-Dade wanted to provide,” said Ritter. “We’re easier to deal with than the county to the south.”
While it is too early to know how much interest Beckham’s group has in potentially building a stadium in Broward County as opposed to Miami-Dade County, the willingness to listen to different plans is an interesting development. Beckham and his group had said in the past that a stadium needed to be built in downtown Miami, but roadblocks in securing a deal have apparently made the global superstar explore other possibilities.
His group is still assessing options in Miami, but is not keen on land near the Miami Marlins baseball stadium because it feels that space is “spiritually tainted” given all the negative publicity that came before, during, and after the deal for the ballpark.
Beckham announced in February his plans to exercise his MLS expansion franchise option on a team in Miami, but approval from the league’s board of directors is dependent upon him landing a soccer-specific stadium. Beckham initially wanted a site in the Port of Miami before switching his attention to land next to the AmericanAirlines Arena, but neither were approved by local government officials.
If a stadium were to be built in Broward County, it would mark the second time in MLS history that a team called that area home. The Miami Fusion played in Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale previously, but the team folded in 2001.
What do you think of Beckham’s group looking into the idea of building a soccer stadium in Broward County? Do you see it being easier for Beckham to strike a stadium deal there? Think having a team in Broward County would be a better fit than in Miami-Dade County?
Share your thoughts below.
While I certainly understand the political pressures that led Miami to retract its proposal for the land next to the basketball arena — because of plans to link a park to the water — I have to say it’s a bit elitist. Parks are awesome — but the plan wasn’t to get rid of the park, just shift the land a little. The fact is that the stadium would be visited by thousands more each week than the park would be. Yeah, the big donor dollars want a park, but the residents will get more out of the stadium.
ITS OK DAVID WE’LL LOVE YOU WHEREVER YOU GO. GET JURGY LOVE TO COACH
Beckham can easily build in downtown Miami with his own money. The Miami Dade School Board owns acres of land literally blocks from American Airlines Arena. Also, just blocks away is the site of another former arena. Of course negotiating those deals would take time and money. He wants a quick deal and free land from the local government, just like every millionaire team owner.
Beckham is bluffing. He is not going to Broward, where the Fusion died.
Mrs. Beckham wouldn’t be caught dead in San Diego, St. Louis, San Antonio or any other possible MLS expansion city.
Does Beckham wants to have a team play in 2017 or 2018? He’s going to give in.
Where the Panthers play is out in the middle of nowhere. This is posturing.
but very easy to get to from everywhere, unlike downtown Miami.
I’d like to see a team in Miami, but if they can’t build IN Miami, then look elsewhere. Maybe St Louis and San Diego will be more receptive.
Becks team doesn’t need to me in Miami proper. Support will be weak where ever they put a stadium in that market. Miami 2.0 is a TV and international brand play by MLS. DPs won’t care where the stadium is in south FL if they are getting paid. Really, there is no need to wait on Miami-Dade now that the pols have shown their cards. Just get a nice stadium done in Broward and forget about Miami-Dade.
The only MLS team drawing over 20k outside of downtown is LA. A downtown location is important.
Sporting KC fills their stadium quite out in suburbia quite well.
Cities like KC that are largely sprawling suburban cities do fine with that, and cities that have more people in an urban core necessitate a downtown location more. It basically depends on what the city’s lifestyle is and how the majority get around. Of course, grey areas, etc, etc.
buying the strikers is looking to the future? that one made me laugh
Here we go again. MLS trying to stamp out another NASL club? Ft Lauderdale Strikers play in Broward. Becks should ditch that salary capped, single entity, archaic 1990s joke of a McLeague and buy into an actual independant club like the The Strikers instead. Look to the future, not the past…
Haha nice handle.
I choose to believe you’re being facetious.
This is garbage, expand elsewhere rather than giving another chance to an awful sports town.
It seems like Miami-Dade officials made it clear they don’t want an MLS stadium unless they get some green in their hands. What I would do? Punish them – move to LA, buy Chivas USA, rebrand, and show what they’re missing out. If David Beckham can’t do it, who honestly can?
True, Fusion did die because of poor marketing and management, which is why Beckham in Miami is a game changer. Beckham IS a brand. The way they’re treating this stadium ordeal, Miami doesn’t deserve MLS. *hides*
You are the first one to hit the nail on the head with your understanding that building a stadium is when the owners bilk the taxpayers into paying for everything, or most everything and then they sit back and collect $ on parking, luxury boxes, naming-rights and tickets. I am glad Miami said NO bc Beckham and his group did not want to pony up and help pay for a stadium.
What are you talking about? Beckham’s group will cover all construction costs for the stadium ($250+ million)
it’s about time they start looking to an area that is easier to get to for most people. The Fusion didn’t fail because of location, but because of poor management & marketing. Sunrise is an easy drive for most of the population. East Broward would be great too, but land is less available. And I still hope they will at least explore southern Palm Beach County. FAU would be a great temporary home.
Let me preference this by saying that I live in boynton beach. This MLS team NEEDS to be in miami one way or the other. I’m guessing this is just posturing by beckham and crew to let the local miami politicians know that there is a possibility that the team can go elsewhere. While I would love for the team to be in browsed or palm beach county, I don’t think they’d have the draw of foreign stars or sexiness that a team in miami would create.
Spot on. No one is going to games in southern Palm Beach Country, as the poster before you thought was a good idea. E. Broward or Miami. And by E. Broward, it’s gotta either be in Ft. Lauderdale or on the edge of Miami-Dade/Broward.
I like the East Broward idea as well. Remodeling of Lockhard would be good. I don’t like the Miami idea. The majority of season ticket holders will most likely be Broward and PBC, just like with the Dolphins & Marlins. However, the Marlins deserted most fans by putting their stadium in Miami. No one from the north wants to drive south of Aventura.
I’d be curious is the athletes care that much about Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. I’d be curious how many other pro athletes actually live in Miami. A lot live outside of the city where they can get bigger properties.
He should name the stadium Bruce Arena and replace ice cream and cinnamon pretzels with Landy Cakes.
if we read your analogy right, i believe you’re saying that beckham is too by the book, or rather too set and surrounded with what brought him over. I agree with you. He needs to cut his own path, and stop going by the playbook of his “coaches”…those who orchestrated his move to America (that A.I. guy,Leiwiki, Arena). DB needs to take a page out of non-MLS sports, and one MLS has shied away from doing…play political hardball of the most cut throat variety. If it works in other sports, it can now work in soccer.
Brilliant reply. I don’t know about the one named after a turd, I feel edified.
I live in broward. Sunrise is an awful place for the soccer team. MLS won’t work and fail again if that happens. The Florida Panthers play in the middle of nowhere right by the glades. Not an ideal. Honestly if they don’t get downtown then just scrapped the whole Miami idea.
The location of the Panthers Arena is in a hell-hole middle of nowhere. Basically, it’s tucked in between I-75 and the Saw Grass Mills Mall. I used to live down in that neck (western end of Pembroke Pines). It’s a terrible idea, and frankly it sounds like a ploy to get Miami back in the game. However, that will ONLY work if Broward starts offering up land near Ft. Lauderdale or Pompano. Otherwise, Miami officials will likely let them go to Broward.
If his only choice is Broward, look to another state…seriously.
property closer to the beach is much too valuable. Plus, Broward, unlike Miami-Dade, does not own much property. In Broward, it’s mostly owned by the cities. If Miami (city or county) won’t play, Broward is a great option for Beckham. Plus, the property will be MUCH cheaper.
Trust me, it’s not a ploy — they are not working with Miami. Broward would love to have another team and develop the western portion of the county
Do what the brooklyn nets did, Buy out and existing property and demolish it
EXACTLY. I’ve been wondering why this was so hard for NYC FC and Miami to do. John Hopkins has been doing this for years in Baltimore and it’s a little similar to what Orlando is doing (even though only part of the land is occupied)
Land is Baltimore is a fraction of the price of land in NYC or Miami.
Wait wut? Most of Barclay’s Arena was built on top of a rail yard, not demolished property.