Ten Things You Need to Know About David Beckham's Proposed Bay-Front Soccer Stadium
8. "The U" Will Not Play Here
Beckham and company had floated the idea of hosting University of Miami football games at the stadium, but a bay-front location makes that almost impossible. The low-rise stadium (at around 90 feet, 60 feet shorter than American Airlines Arena) will only be able to hold around 20,000 fans. That's less than half The U's average attendance last year in Sun Life Stadium.
9. Much Remains Up in the Air
In two weeks, Beckham has gone from fighting for a spot at the port to totally revamping downtown's waterfront. His team was keen to declare they had only had 12 days to come up with the sketches on display. One angle that was absent was the view of the stadium from Biscayne Boulevard, a major source of concern because it will cut off the view of the water. Sketches of the stadium itself aren't available yet either.
Miamians can expect more detailed stadium sketches in the months to come. Also up in the air is a land swap deal between the city and the county required before the boat slip can be filled in. That would require city commissioners to sign off on the plan. It's too early to tell if they will support the stadium, or turn against it, as county commissioners did.
10. You Will Get to Vote on It
But the biggest obstacle to Beckham's bay-front stadium is a public vote. Beckham and his advisors have long sought to distance themselves from the Marlins' stadium -- which was never put to a public vote and became so toxic that county mayor Carlos Alvarez and county commissioner Natacha Seijas were both recalled -- by promising a referendum.
"I've always said that our team will be the people's club -- another downtown amenity that makes the entire Miami-Dade community proud," Beckham said in a press release.
The issue is expected to be on the November 4 ballot. Miami Beckham United is up against lingering stadium suspicions. But Claure said the team was ready to release its secret weapon: a David Beckham charm offensive. "You'll see David as a very active presence" in the campaign, he said with a smile.
11. (Bonus!) The Team Won't Be Called "Miami Beckham United"
Despite the wishes of one British woman seated next to him, Claure announced the team will not, in fact, be called "Miami Beckham United." Instead, Claure said he and Beckham hope to get help from Miamians in choosing a moniker.