By FRANCO PANIZO
The ball is now in David Beckham’s court.
After spending much of the last year looking for a suitable Miami location for a soccer-specific stadium for his MLS franchise, Beckham will soon have an offer on the table that he will need to consider. Several reports out of South Florida are indicating that the Miami-Dade County commission agreed this week to propose a stadium site west of Marlins Park to Beckham, a move that could bring an end to a year-long search that has brought its share of headaches for Beckham and his ownership group.
While the commission has identified that parcel, it is currently unclear as to whether Beckham will want to build a stadium there. There is no word as to how much contact the commission has had with Beckham and his group over the space of land, which is in an area that Beckham’s group had seen as “spiritually tainted” because of the negative stigma attached to Marlins Park.
That stance came early in the searching process, however, and before a number of hurdles left Beckham and his partners reassessing their options.
Beckham announced plans to launch an expansion MLS franchise a little over a year ago. There are currently only two remaining slots available before MLS reaches the 24-club mark it said it wishes to have by 2020.
What do you make of this development? Should Beckham jump at the chance at taking this land or should he continue to look elsewhere? Still think MLS should skip Miami as an expansion market altogether?
Share your thoughts below.
On the water is just not good in Miami theses days unless you build a giant bulkhead everywhere around it. Miami is slowly sinking and flooding in areas is becoming more and more common. My concern with west of Marlin’s Park is that they don’t specify how far west or where. They can’t close down any of the schools to build a stadium, can they? Would they build on park land, destroying some of the only (tiny) natural areas left around Miami.
As a south Florida native, that location offer is a slap in the face to Miami Beckham.
This place is where the OrangeBowl was. It’s been a very successful site in the past. It’s not dangerous except in people’s minds. However,I refuse to step foot in Marlin Stadium due to the way it was funded. I would be hard pressed to support this stadium if it is .1% connected to that stadium.
Again, Becks, give Carnival shirt and stadium sponsorship for the first how ever amount of years it will take to ge them to give you the port site. They pay off the politicians here. you pay them off. Deal done. Let’s get the ball rolling. I can’t wait to go to Carnival Cruise Lines stadium in my boat (remind me to get a boat).
The area is very congested with housing. The marlins park has virtually no parking so homeowners use there sidewalks and grass to make a couple bucks charging people to park( and that’s with the marlins having a pathetic attendance record) The area has a lot of character, but is a somewhat dangerous for people who are not used to it. The worst part though is the traffic it’s just crazy all the time. Like I said the stadium has to be downtown to work, Beckhams original plans would be the best.
Having lived in Miami for 8+ years and being a huge MLS fan, I agree with everyone who says Miami is not a good location for a team. Miami is a bandwagon town. The Heat had the most exciting team in the league, with a downtown arena and most people would show up in the 2nd quarter, go to the lounges at halftime and not come back out for the 2nd half…and this was with Lebron, Wade, Bosh & Co.
Throw in the fact that summers are unbelievably hot, humid and wet and the idea gets even worse. Capping it off with a stadium west of downtown that is undesirable in terms of other things to do before/after a game and this is a total disaster. Not to mention the bitterness people feel for the joke that is Marlins Stadium (and possibly this stadium) existing on the gravesite of the much loved OB.
pros: a lot of soccer talent in So. Florida, Latin American exposure
cons: no stadium, no MLS fans, local resistance.
solution: allow Fort Lauderdale Strikers to develop the talent pool, the various football stadiums to host the friendlies, let the tax payers keep their money, let Beckham join the Galaxy ownership and give the expansion team to a city that wants it.
So, who said that LA wants to add Beckham to their ownership group? I was just thinking, what could be dumber than a floating stadium and then you commented again. You are nothing if not consistent.
BL is spot on
Speaking of…why not just do all this in ft. Lauderdale? Could that work?
It was already done. They were called the Miami Fusion and MLS shut them down in 2002. They played at Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers play there now.
See my reply to mark above
I live in Miami and don’t think this would be a good site. The area is not ideal for another stadium. People are not going to be excited to go to this part of town unless big money is spent on the players. Considering the current salary cap this is extremely unlikely. The only place this will work in my opinion is somewhere in the downtown area.
I agree. I live in Miami part time and don’t see the appeal of this location. The stadium needs to be in a trendier area of town.
I don’t live in Miami and I’ve never even been (just Fort Lauderdale) but I was looking at it on Google Maps/Earth. Could you natives give us more perspective? I’m kinda surprised at the location. It looks very congested and neighborhood-like. How on earth could you fit a stadium there? All I see is the baseball park and an elementary school nearby.
I live in Boca Raton and I would not go to a game near the Marlins’ stadium or near Bayside/AAA Arena. The traffic and parking situation will be a nightmare. I, and 95% of Strikers fans would prefer to continue to go to Strikers games at Lockhart.
At least we’ve seen that people will go to SunLife Stadium and that’s nowhere near downtown.
The problem is that what the league wants, a waterfront/downtown stadium, is not what the people will actually go to.
See there is room for two teams in south Florida! You got your Strikers. enjoy. They will beat the Rowdies someday. I’m sure. Once Ronaldo signs and is in shape. It’s all over for that league.
Remember when the Panthers (an NHL hockey team) were playing at Miami Arena downton and were sold out every single game and they went to the Stanley Cup finals? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. They moved to Broward 2 seasons later. Since they moved to Broward and alienated the fanbase they built they’ve become pretty much irrelevant. Not sure if they’ve made the playoffs since.
Anything of importance in South Florida happens in Miami or because of Miami’s image. That’s why MLS wants it’s team in Miami. MIAMI Dolphins, MIAMI Marlins, MIAMI Heat, University of MIAMI, freaking MIAMI Beach. I’m in MIAMI b**ch. I’m going to MIAMI, csi MIAMI, MIAMI vice, MIAMI Sound Machine, Moons over MIHAMMY, Sorry but there’s nothing in Broward but the a big outlet mall.
Stay up north and don’t worry about traffic and parking. We got it covered down here.
I myself am spiritually tainted.
Do not build the Miami stadium on Soccerhorn — too much spiritual taintment.
“Spiritually tainted”? Details, please?
I don’t live down there so I will defer to a local. But in case nobody else responds – I think they’re referring to the clusterf*ck that happened around securing and building the new Marlins stadium. It went way over budget and there was too much behind-the-scenes action that gave too much away to the Marlins. The city had a recall election to get rid of the mayor that was tied to that project. I think that experience has really scared a lot of politicians away from any more public funds for billionaires’ stadiums in Miami.
DP, you are correct. Miami basically built the stadium for the Marlins and left the taxpayers to foot the bill. The stadium is in a terrible location that non-locals don’t want to go to because of traffic and the lack of parking. Then the Marlins owner tanked the team and killed off any remaining interest in the team.
Miami Beckham must get their waterfront stadium, if they need more time, Then give them time.
Just tell Beckham and company, you are in but get me the best stadium location you can and if possible make it waterfront. Why? Because it’s Miami and Miami means waterfront.
Same thing with LA2, there has been zero news about their stadium location. LA2 is 2 years away from starting camp and they have no stadium plans or possible team name.
Look at Atlanta, they got more than enough fans for their first season. Atlanta is way ahead of LA2 and worst case scenario, LA2 might end playing in the new NFL stadium with the raiders or rams.
It would also be nice if Vancouver would get their waterfront stadium one day and wouldn’t it be crazy if nycfc ends up at pier 41 after all this years of talking stadium locations.
By the way, can LA2 or (Seattle) end up with a water front stadium as well, there’s has to be tons of space around LA for a small 20,000 seat stadium like San Jose’s.
At this point, Beckham needs to partner with another person and buy out a property near the water and tear it down. I always thought the perfect Las Vegas location would be to tear down the excalibur hotel.
That stupid cuban/art center or whatever it is right by the heat stadium was the perfect location.
I know its not the waterfront, or even downtown, but anyone who knows the area.. Is this an acceptable location?
Also what is Miami like in late July? thinking of visiting and thats the only time I can go.
Hot, humid, lots of afternoon thunderstorms.
I try to go to Miami at least once a year and was excited about the prospect of going more frequently and timing some trips to go see a stadium in the downtown area. It would be perfect to stay in a hotel downtown, go to a game and then see other sites around downtown. Putting the stadium in the old Little Havana area doesn’t excite me at all. I wouldn’t make a trip down there to go to a game next to Marlins Park.
I think it’s time for Beckham to take his ball and go home. If they’re giving him this much trouble now, wait until construction starts. Wait until he’s invested so much money that he can’t back out. Do you think they’ll start treating him better? This is as good as it’s going to get, and it’s terrible. He should get out while he can – the MLS franchise was a great idea but he picked the wrong city. He wouldn’t be the first ownership group to find that out. Better to cut your losses now. On paper Miami would be the perfect city for the franchise, but then you get into the real world.
The real Little Havana has moved further west. If that area was still Little Havana it might be cool. It was fun to go to Miami Hurricane football games back in the day and hit some of the restaurants in the area. But now, that area is pretty lame.
No go…Marlins Park is off of 95 and isn’t too bad of an area. Parking is not great but all in all, not too bad. There’s Wynwood not too far from that area and the art district. A lot of cool breweries and restaurants. Coral Gables with has some cool spots. It really depends on HOW far west west is. I’d prefer it to be further east then west but it is what it is. It sounds like the county commissioners have been trying to pawn off that plot of land for a while. Doesn’t seem like anyone wants it…
wait until a waterfront area comes available,, too bad the Dodge island got torpedoed by RCL , coz the specs looked amazing in the drawings
The thing that gets my attention the most is the fact that there’s no supporters group making any noise. Does anybody else other than Beckham and MLS want a soccer stadium in Miami?
Nope. Miami is a terrible sports town and MLS would be better off with a team in a city that actually wants it. There are several.
there is they guy Don and his two friends in all of those pictures.. thats about it
everybody else is terrified of another tax payer stadium
The supporters group is called the Southern Legion.
too bad they couldn’t find something on the water.. moving it inland doesn’t have the same allure
This times a million.
really disappointed that they won’t be considering the Marine Stadium with a floating pitch. That could be a really one of a kind global attention stadium. The capacity would be low, which matches Miami – never going to be big crowd team. Plus it would be an amazing facility to hold other events in and one that the city would would go for; rehabilitating an historic gem not just stealing from the tax payers for another private building.
I agree with you on the Marine Stadium. That location would make it a destination location. Here in Seattle, University of Washington football fans tailgate on their boats and I could see this happening at that location. Take a water taxi to the game or tailgate on your yacht for everyone to see. It could be a real social event around the match.
this sounds like the Miami experience! not some MLS version of the Marlins.