Ten Things You Need to Know About David Beckham's Proposed Bay-Front Soccer Stadium

Categories: Politicks, Sports

beckhamplan5.jpg
Arquitectonica
A preliminary sketch of what David Beckham's bay-front soccer stadium would look like if approved.
Yesterday, David Beckham's team of investors and real estate advisers unveiled an ambitious plan to build a soccer stadium atop what is now a boat slip on Biscayne Bay. "We want to bring the world's greatest game to the world's greatest city," said Beckham's Bolivian billionaire business partner, Marcelo Claure.

The new proposal replaces a politically unpopular plan for a stadium at PortMiami, but it still faces plenty of opposition. Some are suspicious of any stadium deal, so badly were they burned by the Miami Marlins boondoggle. Others claim Beckham's blueprints are bad for Biscayne Bay.

Whatever your angle, here are ten things you need to know about Beckham's bay-front stadium proposal.

See also: Here's What Beckham's New Miami MLS Stadium Site Will Look Like

1. Beckham's Stadium Will Transform the Waterfront
The one thing that everyone can agree on is that, if approved, Beckham's stadium will radically transform the downtown waterfront. Although sketches suggest that the stadium itself will be much lower -- and lower key -- than it would have been at PortMiami, putting it just north of American Airlines Arena will require some serious reshuffling. First, it will require the filling of the FEC boat slip next to American Airlines Arena. John Alschuler, Beckham's real estate advisor, says the group is prepared to pump $20-30 million into filling the boat slip and other infrastructure. That's on top of the actual stadium, which could cost more than $200 million.

beckhamplan3.jpg
2. It Will Add Parkland
Beckham's soccer stadium can't completely fit where the boat slip is, so it will also have to sit atop part of what is now Museum Park. But Alschuler and Claure were at pains to point out that their plan will actually increase the amount of parkland by 4.3 acres, or around 23 percent. That's because land will be added between the stadium and the water, as well as in front of American Airlines Arena.

"We've made it 20 percent bigger and 100 percent better," Alschuler said of the park. "The orientation of the park now runs along your greatest resource, which is Biscayne Bay." He said that a $150 million plan to create a long, uninterrupted bay front park back in 1997 had been allowed to fizzle into a mere $10 million landscaping project today. "We've seen a history of diminishing resources in this park," he said. Beckham's stadium would put some ambition back into park.

3. But It Eliminate Part of Biscayne Bay
If Beckham gets his way, the FEC boat slip will be gone. Whether we should care or not is up for debate. Alschuler called the boat slip water "brackish" and said there was "nothing natural about the shore" or sea bottom. But Stuart Sorg, a retired Navy SEAL and chairman of the City's Waterfront Advisory Board, says filling in the boat slip would be a mistake. "It's a beautiful piece of land that should remain the same way it is," he says. "Open land is so important. We try to save land for the people, not just to cover it up and put something on it, let alone a stadium that will be empty most of the time.

His worries are echoed by Laura Reynolds, executive director of the Tropical Audubon Society. In a statement distributed at the press conference, she questioned whether the boat slip could even be legally filled in. "We contend that the people of Florida, Miami-Dade County, and the Florida Legislature intended for Biscayne Bay to be held in the public trust to enjoy water dependent activities for ours and future generations," she said. "We contend that Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves is Miami's great urban park."


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52 comments
mingohills
mingohills

Well. I, for one, feel like this one is so poisoned with politics from both sides.  Personally, I would love for a soccer stadium to be built.  This BS about water views drives me nuts.  Along Biscayne, I see water at Bayfront/Bayside, Perez, and when I cross the bridge in Brickell.  That "park" has had construction fence or event fence up for at least 10 years now.  The numbers are so washed up in the politics that we won't really know the answer until its done, because neither side is honest about. Also, Miamians have a bad habit of "my way or the highway". Perhaps it is a trickle down Tea Party and 99 Percenter absolutism, but it never comes out they way you want.  Look at the Home Depot in the Grove or the soon to be Walmart in midtown. Even when compromise was offered, the protest said "NO!" and what happened? They both said, "F@#$@ you. We already have a permit." 


All that said, I do hope it goes in and I hope that they really do work to with the community for input. I think Miami has grown a lot since the last failed soccer team.  Just think about an open air park space, overlooking the bay, with walking access to Bayfront, PAM, and the new science museum with quick metro runs to Adrienne Arsht.  Will it be touristy? Yes, but that is the water front in a major city.  Will it add more congestion?  Maybe, but so will the dozens of other development projects, that are going up regardless of whether the stadium is completed.  Either way, an ancillary concern, as we will eventually drown in our traffic if we don't put together a real viable public transit system.


So at the end of the day, the only real question is how much will it actually cost us? and can we get an honest answer from the pros the antis and the government. 

RememberMarlins
RememberMarlins

Remember the Marlins scheme.  $3 Billion diverted...

Cristina Moutella
Cristina Moutella

The flu is going away. But I still need transplants to survive. I only got half the money we need. :-( I wanna get out of this hospital. I wanna go home. I wanna live!!! And I know you can help me. :-)

dannycanes8389
dannycanes8389

I'll have to disagree with #8. MLS has not ruled the possibility if this being 40K. If that happens, there's a good chance UM bolts Sun Life to join Beckham and Co. Downtown. 

John Anthony
John Anthony

So if average attendance is less than 20k per game, is it even worth it? Like can you build a stadium that maxes out at 20k ppl and even make a profit? Soccer tickets are much cheaper than any other spot- well that debate would be argued with the terrible marlins. But even if the stadium was maxing attendance could that amount of people even put it in the green? They'll make it and lack of attendance will create cries for tax breaks which will cost the taxpayers valuable dollars (aka what the heat are doing now). I don't understand why they can't convert marlins or even sunlife to test run a soccer team. Why does nobody like to share?

Tyler Fenix
Tyler Fenix

Bull. Plans are a carefully laid out and beautifully decorated ploy for these billionaires to get a "YES" and be able to purchase the property. Then they will do what they want. It will not resemble the original plans in my opinion, because they will claim budget cuts from day 1! Bull. Retain the land and enhance and build around and I'm partnership with the ecosystem already in place. There are many many places west, not on top of an oceanic system that is already fragile, where a plain and simple stadium could be built. But this type of thing is also usually a front for other types of nefarious acts. Let's just say NO. let's give another option in another spot and preserve.

George Bishopric
George Bishopric

The author doesn't pay much attention to the asset value of the strategic bayfront parcel that would be given away. Maybe if they just sell that bit of land the taxpayers can be partially compensated for the Marlins' Stadium fiasco? Remember the North American Socccer League? Didn't think so........

Fulano De Tal
Fulano De Tal

Here's a fact. They're an expansion team. Haven't played one single game yet. And they want a multimillion dollar arena?!?! C'mon man. Earn that. Use the Marlins stadium for the first two years and if they end up being any good then propose the arena. But until then we shouldnt even be having this discussion. Earn that arena.

Skip Van Cel
Skip Van Cel

Bullshit. Nothing but a regurgitation of their press release.

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luisacaligra86

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monicaacevedo
monicaacevedo

Better idea, use Marlins stadium for soccer matches. Jets and the Giants successfully use the same stadium in Secaucus, NJ. for the past 50 years.

Peter Ehrlich
Peter Ehrlich

The Marlins lost over 100 games last season and sometimes only 2,000 actual spectators showed up for games. (Actual paying bodies in actual seats). The Marlins were last or second to last in attendance in MLB. Miami taxpayers are still paying $3 Billion for Stadium and Garages. Soccer stadium on Bicentennial Park is just more "welfare for billionaires".

Ari El
Ari El

Austin Heffernan. I'm aware of this fact. Doesn't make my statement any less true. You may very well be a dedicated fan, but unfortunately, you're the minority in the MIA bud. Plus baseball is boring :P

Peter Ehrlich
Peter Ehrlich

The land might be worth $500 mil? Beckham and his bosses want to pay zero. Taxpayers are still paying $3 Billion for the Marlins fiasco.

Brad Knoefler
Brad Knoefler

Another example of a lazy and shoddy journalist cutting and pasting a press release. It is NOT a fact that the stadium will increase the park, since they are including a parcel that already is slated to be a Park. if the City has its way, we will NOT get to vote on it (http://coconutgrovegrapevine.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-city-wants-to-do-what.html) since they want to exclude submerged land from a referendum. And we WILL pay for it by giving free or discounted land. Giving things for free results in a net loss to the taxpayer. Sad, Sad, Sad from a media source that normally is not as bad as the Herald..

Austin Heffernan
Austin Heffernan

Ari El do you know anything about the marlins? We won the World Series in '97 and '03 (6 year difference) and only ONE player was on both teams. on a roster of 25 people, you must be scratching your head at that statistic. We're not fair-weathered. We grew an affinity for an amazing team that was then sold in baseball's biggest fire sale. and the same thing happened in 2003 when we won! You can call marlins fans fair-weather but you can also say the owner hasn't done his due diligence at giving Miami a team that we can hold on to! /rant

citizenatlarge
citizenatlarge

Beckham is a front for big money, we need to know more about who is behind the scenes. The Marlins stadium could easily be used for a soccer stadium and that should capture the deal as we are already on the hook for it. We have paid good tax dollars to keep a green space and now we want to take it away?


Folks, we have traded our Public Library for Marlins Stadium, lets not throw another deal away, thanks. Please vote.

Valentina Gabriela Fernandez
Valentina Gabriela Fernandez

"Downtown is the only location in Miami where you can arrive using public transportation," is probably the stupidest statement I have ever heard. You can take public transportation to get any where in Miami. Out of downtown and into down town from the metro rail to busses, the new trolly systems etc. who the hell is that guy. As far as the stadium goes, it will end up like everything else, one huge complaint. As you can all see from previous comments. Just continue to take away from the beauty of our ocean and add more money use and head ache. It will be great and will will also be horrible. No way of getting around it.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

This area has lost 5,000 parking spots.  The railroad should allow cars to park on its land as it is not properly lit.  No stadium can give a better experience than a high definition television on a large screen.  Are we going backwards in time?  

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

#4 is a bold face lie


There is already a State sales tax subsidy in place that will cost us Millions.


The land will be "Rented" at a sweetheart deal.  Land worth Billions in potential revenue will be used to employ a handfull of Hotdog and Churro vendors.


The added costs of Traffic & security combined with issues with Parking and sanitation means that once again the Taxpayers of Miami-Dade county will have to foot the bill for CRONYISM.

Ezar Guzman
Ezar Guzman

Too bad Miami isn't a true sports town. I def buy season tickets though

Tony Sarhan
Tony Sarhan

It's going to be an Empty stadium, huge waste of money, just like the base ball stadium

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Ari El
Ari El

Did Miami learn nothing after the Marlin's Stadium fiasco? If baseball couldn't make it in a city of predominantly Hispanic Caribbean people, what chance does soccer have? Plus, Miami has the worst case of fair weather sport fanatics I have ever seen.

lee.ifans
lee.ifans

Average salary in the MLS, $207,831. Average salary in MLB $3.39 million. I don't think there are any concrete concerns about sustainability and attendance.

usbfc
usbfc

@monicaacevedo Terrible idea. Soccer belongs in soccer stadiums and is a better game for people than baseball, which rewards standing around doing nothing and getting paid millions.

lee.ifans
lee.ifans

@monicaacevedo A requirement of being awarded the MLS franchise is a soccer specific stadium. I've watched a soccer game at Marlins Park and it was a diabolical experience. It's a non-starter on all counts.

usbfc
usbfc

Or, entertainment for people. A way to introduce children to other cultures and geographical learning. 

lechozo
lechozo

@citizenatlarge Beckham is an associate of Sands Casinos.  They need a cool location in Miami in case gambling is legalized.  
their main competitor is doing the same in the old Miami Herald site.



HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Basketball and baseball are not year round.

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

@DrumRollPlease "No stadium can give a better experience than a high definition television on a large screen."


How do you quantify the quality of an experience?  A broadcast might give you a clearer view of game details, but it can't replace the stadium experience because it is A) 2-dimensional,  B) made of pixels instead of human tissue, C) stimulatory of only 2 senses, D) absent of raucous audience.

FatHand
FatHand

@DrumRollPlease "No stadium can give a better experience than a high definition television on a large screen" is a sad sad statement. Besides being totally incorrect, I would say that statement evokes just about the laziest images of modern society.

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