Top Stories

Report: Beckham to explore soccer-football stadium possibilities with University of Miami

David Beckham 1

photo by Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports


The search for a stadium in Miami has not been easy, and is why David Beckham is reportedly considering partnering up with the city’s biggest university.

The Miami Herald reported late on Thursday that Beckham, MLS commissioner Don Garber and University of Miami president Donna Shalala will meet Friday in the South Florida metropolis to talk about the possibilities of joining forces to build a football-soccer stadium. The venue would serve as the home of both Beckham’s proposed MLS franchise and the UM football team, and Shalala recently said a new stadium for the latter would be in the 40,000- to 44,000-seat range.

Shalala, who is a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation board of directors, would have to help UM’s football team find a way to break a 17-year lease with Sun Life Stadium in order to make the partnership with Beckham happen. Beckham, in turn, would have to assist in pinpointing a suitable location that both parties and local government would be happy with.

“David, (and partners Marcelo Claure and Simon Fuller) are making progress toward bringing an MLS club to Miami-Dade County,” Beckham’s group told the Miami Herald via a statement: “We’re in the process of identifying viable sites and are entertaining a number of options. We look forward to sharing positive news with our fans soon.”

One location that could be considered, per the report, is near Marlins Park. It is the site of the old Orange Bowl, which the Hurricanes played in for a long time but Fuller labeled as “spiritually tainted” last year.

What could help convince Beckham’s group to settle on that piece of land, however, is that UM might be willing to pay for some of the construction if a stadium is built there. UM is reportedly not as big on the other two sites – in Overtown and near Miami International Airport – that Beckham is considering.

Beckham announced his plans to launch an MLS franchise in Miami in February 2014, but has run into numerous hurdles in his search for a location for a stadium.

Earlier this week, NASL beat MLS to the punch by announcing that it would be expanding into Miami with Miami FC starting in 2016.


What do you think of Beckham possibly partnering up with the University of Miami for a stadium? Would a 40,000- to 44,000-seat stadium be too big or do you deem it doable? Are you okay with the area near Marlins Park?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It would be great if UM moves closer to campus. The stadium downtown would bring more people and families that will help revive the area. They can all get to the downtown stadium using metromove or metrorail, no need to drive/park. 1/4 of the Alumni already live in the downtown/Brickell area. We should all support this partnership. UM needs the football stadium that they cannot have in the Gables. I am sure that they will be able to work something out with the Dolphins, and the Dolphins should do everything possible for this to happen. So should the large numbers of UM alumni that live and work in the downtown area. There will not be too many chances for UM to place closer to the Gables.

  2. If he can’t get a waterfront soccer specific stadium, then forget about Miami and move on. I think MLS can succeed in Miami. But an inland stadium shared with a football team is a recipe for failure.

  3. I love Becks. Love his fire and competitive drive. But he made a HUGE mistake picking Miami. He chose glamour city as opposed to a soccer starved city ie St. Louis, San Antonio and others. He will always be famous and admired in the States. Whatever city he chose would have loved him even if it wasnt a glamorous one. He needs to cut bait now. San Antonio would have packed a stadium every week. St Louis would pack a stadium every week. I doubt those ownership groups would have turned Becks away had he sought to buy them out or buy a majority share. Hes worth close to Half a billion. Claure is a billion plus. Fuller is a billion plus. Come on Becks. Switch cities. See what Miamis politicians do then.

  4. Lets say Beckham doesn’t get his waterfront location or good location, what other fancy market can Beckham go.
    Let’s see,Vegas, San Diego, new york by partnering with cosmos or rebranding red bull, tampa bay or san Francisco.
    At the end of the day, it will be miami but if he can walk out why not san diego or vegas, or buy out red bull or join the red bull ownership and rebrand them .

    • I don’t see how buying into Red Bull would really make sense. Part of the entire deal is Beckham gets to buy into the league at a cheaper price. That advantage would be gone if he’s buying into an existing franchise.

  5. Come to St. Louis David!!!
    We can play flip-cup in my garage for pre-game!!
    But seriously, there are at least 5 better location options.
    My offer still stands.

  6. Dear David Beckham – would you consider scraping the Miami franchise and buying out Sugarman and Sakiewicz to take over the Philadelphia Union? Our franchise has an enormous and dedicated fan base who deserves much better than the feckless ownership of Sugarman and Sakiewicz.!


  7. I have to admit. This topic gives me entertainment.
    Slow moving train wreck?
    A potential football stadium with turf tho does scare me

  8. Poor Becks, and poor soccer in America. MLS and soccer always gets the wrong side of the stick with politics and we as fans can never get our stadium, but if this was NFL or MLB or NBA, things would be faster and better,but like always,politics don’t like soccer at all.
    Now moving on from the anti soccer fans or politics, what is the hurry with Beckham and Miami.
    We are talking 2018, or does garber want Miami for 2017, because if it’s 2018, then what’s the big hurry. Take your time,find the best fanciest location and cry for the oceanfront property and we all know soccer stadiums are done faster and specially MLS soccer stadiums which are smaller.
    In other words,Beckham has until the end of 2015 to find a location and break ground by 2016 and have the stadium ready 2018, just in time to come in with LAfc.
    The worse thing we can do is talk bad about Beckham,Minnesota, LAfc, they are helping soccer grow in the U.S. And helping MLS expand. I wonder why garber or MLS don’t start a fan page to show support for soccer stadiums in expansion cities, so those politicians can’t shut up and help like they help other sports.

    • If you believe NFL, MLS or NBA go faster or better you haven’t been following the crazy waste of energy for years now to put an NFL team in the LA market.

      • Yup.
        The climate regarding municipalities bending over backwards to bankroll stadiums has changed significantly. Where once they came begging for the honor to grant teams tax exemptions, donate premium real estate and pay a large % of construction cost, a sports team is now fortunate to be leased a quality piece of real estate. As it should be! LA kind of began this trend way earlier than most…. the last economic crash sealed the deal. Certainly there have been exceptions, but these have been more a case of local politicians ignoring public opinion in favor of, I assume, graft. That has generally proven to be poor for chances of reelection.

  9. This is embarrassing.

    Panicky, desperate, reaction. And what is the great prize here? Miami, that’s it.

    A truly horrible sports town, but a great place for celebrity culture

  10. Time to look elsewhere and by that I mean another city. Miami is an NASL type city anyway. Let the handful of diehards go watch minor league soccer. Miami is a terrible sports city.

    • Slow, like I said before, we have the potential to be the single biggest market for soccer, IMO. It just has to be done right, Beck’s was try to do his part…our politicans hate the sport

  11. I am going to be watching the Sounders versus the Sporks tomorrow on a turf field.
    I am fine with that, not my first choice, but fine with it.

    MANY are not.

    I didn’t see one mention of it, meaning? Either I missed it, OR
    You would be an id iot if you didn’t know what that means. It means turf is on the table. Repeat turf is on the table.

    • Turf? That would be a crime against humanity. As a south Floridian, I would be shocked.and appalled. Seriously.

    • You have clearly never been to Florida then Mr. Seattleite. Grass grows there very fast. If you hit a divot on a golf course its practically regrown the next day. There is zero chance this stadium would be turf. No need.

    • I am pretty sure turf was invented by the devil himself. Not sure why it is used (other than saving team owners a lot of $$$?).

  12. I thought there was momentum building in the Overtown area a couple weeks ago at the 6th and 8th street. That would be the best location if he cannot get closer to downtown or by the water.

  13. Does Beckham have a sunset clause in his deal with MLS to where his discounted ownership fee expirers? It is almost in his best interest to be patient and see how the NASL Miami FC does than just to force something to happen in Miami for the sake of putting something in Miami. If he can buy more time, just be patient and continue to work behind the scenes until the best possible solution can be found and/or let the bitter taste of Marlins Park experience go away so that he can find some politicians and city officials more willing to work with him. I agree with the comment above that this appears to be settling and not the very best idea.

    • Probably, but it’s not like MLS is in a rush to get rid of them. They can keep extending the deadline as long as it still makes sense.

    • I think the Don and MLS is pushing for this to gain the Miami Metro area TV market. Not sure if that is good since the Marlins get horrible local TV ratings. Face it, Miami is not a good sports town.

      • Comparisons to the Marlins are sloppy. Different sports, different owners, different commitment levels, etc etc etc.

      • Miami has the potential to be THE SINGLE BIGGEST soccer market in the country, it just has to be done right. I believe I read somewhere that we were #1 in TV ratings nationally for the last World Cup.

    • Does Beckham have a sunset clause in his deal with MLS to where his discounted ownership fee expirers?

      He already exceeded that date based on my memory and Garber acknowledged an exception would be made.

    • Yes, his original deal for a discount price on a franchise was up a few years ago. Considering the current going rate for a franchise he probably won’t get the $20-25 mil deal that he was originally offered, but I’m sure his investment group will still be getting in for a steal. Of course that is assuming you think that a Miami team will be successful at all…

  14. 44K? Seriously? Horrible decision. That stadium will be more than half empty every home game.

    • Could NOT disagree more. This is the size stadium MLS needs to target.
      1/2 empty at first, sure. Get it filled through hard work. 20k isn’t a solution, it is a stepping stone

      • There’ s no evidence Miami could even fill a 20k stadium. Remember, not every is Seattle. 20-25k stadiums are fine for now. Most premier league teams have stadiums in that range too.

      • Based on history with all professional sports, Miami is lucky to be given a stepping stone.

        20-22k is incredibly reasonable. Prove there’s a market that will be supported and then come back to the table with talks of expansion.

      • I am NOT advocating for Miami one way or the other.

        But find a city that works and if that is the case. Soccer is booming, it is growing, so don’t be afraid to go to 40k in a few years when they start.

        100k, yeah be afraid, those are huge heights. 40k is where they want to be in the early 20s and it is 2015 right now.

      • You’ve obviously not been to a sporting event in Miami that doesn’t involve a latin American team.

      • I think a solution for the big vs. small argument is to build a stadium about for about 30K all seater and then convert seats to safe standing once attendance catches up. That should put the stadium in the 25-40K range and provide a hell of an atmosphere.

    • Going to respectfully disagree. Even Seattle doesn’t sell out to Century Link’s full capacity. They do a smart job of sealing off sections and limiting seating to keep the stands looking and feeling full. If it can be done in a cavernous facility like that, it should be doable in a stadium designed to do so from scratch at 44K

  15. Not big on this option but its a good safety net. I think the Beckham group will get it right and build their own stadium near Marlins Park. Still think Beckham’s heart is set on a South Beech theatre of dreams though.

    • If that is your concern, don’t sweat it. It will be waterfront in Florida in no time at all too.

  16. Wow, so we go from a glitzy waterfront downtown SSS, to being the secondary tenant in a stadium that’s twice as big as it will need to be, in a crap-hole part of town. With gridiron lines all over the field. This is not the type of arrangement that screams “world class soccer club” to me, and quite honestly it surprises me that men like Beckham and Claure would be okay with it. Not the kind of stadium arrangement that will get the fickle Miami fans to come out. Not only will Beckham United be 3rd or 4th banana in Miami, they will be 2nd banana in their own stadium!

    I think this ship has sailed.

  17. Come on Becks! You go from wanting a world class stadium in the trendy downtown/waterfront area and now you are settling for a poor location with a questionable partnership. This is not what you want! Bringing in the U with its history of corruption does nothing for you!I think it is time to check your ego in at the door and bring your idea to another city – San Diego, San Antonio, Charlotte Sacramento, St. Louise. Hell,maybe even Phx puts you an hour away by private jet from LA. Time to give up the pipe dream of Miami.

    • Agreed. It’s not going to work now or ever. Miami is not a good location for any sport, especially one played during the summer, when it’s hot, humid and rainy. Plus in the not so distant future, the city may find itself under water.

    • It is not looking good, really not happy with the way things are turning out. You can’t really blame Beckham though, his original plan was great. Our local politicans have always had a certain desdain for the sport. (preference for baseball). The Fusion ended up not playing in Miami because of our politicians.

    • I think good progress is being made. It is not easy to find land suitable for stadiums of any size in dense urban areas. I pointed out several months ago, that the Beckham group should team up with a university, a la the Galaxy, CSUDH and the Stub Hub center in order to find a viable downtown Miami site. Remember, LAFC pointed out that the new stadium downtown at Exhibition park will be the first open air stadium built in LA City since 1962!!! Even the mighty NFL could not find and build a site for a new NFL franchise in LA (even in the county) It seems now that the St Louis Rams, The Oakland Raiders and now the San Diego Chargers are all seeking a home in LA, but none of hose facilities are close to being built, or are 5-10 years away, and most suspect that these NFL teams are using LA to get leverage from the cities they are currently in for new and better stadiums.

      A 40,000 seat stadium for Miami sounds right, like many of the bigger stadiums the MLS uses now, and future, you block off ( and disguise) the upper tier and sell the bottom tier for 20K fans that most MLS teams draw, but have the extra 20K for exhibitions or big MLS draws. The Vancouver Stadium does this now and the future Atlanta Stadium will do this too.

      As far as an NASL team in Miami. There is room for all these teams and the inevitable USL third tier team tied to the Miami MLS team.

      I would not let the failure of the MLS Fusion team be any drawback. At that time the MLS did not have the cache it now has, the Miami team was poorly run (think Chivas) and the team never did really play in Miami proper, playing in the odd football stadiums around town and even in Ft. Lauderdale.

      In short the Beckham group will stay the course and try and secure a good viable MLS stadium site, or, as a backup, use a “spiritual tainted” site (whatever that means). But a stadium site will be found and built and an MLS franchise will be in Miami in a new stadium by 2018/19.


Leave a Comment