During a public meeting on Wednesday, representatives of Miami Beckham United offered details of a proposed MLS stadium in the city’s Overtown neighborhood.
The presentation from Miami Beckham United included more information on the 25,000-seat stadium, which is to be constructed for an MLS expansion franchise. A new rendering (shown above) was released, and the group also outlined how it expects many fans to travel to the facility. Rather than relying on the development of major parking infrastructure, Miami Beckham United believes that many fans will seek alternate transportation options–including ride-sharing options, Metromovers, Metrorails, and water taxis–to access events at the stadium.
Seeing the proposal to completion will require several steps. First, Miami Beckham United must complete its purchase of a Miami-Dade County-owned land parcel needed for the stadium’s construction. Beyond getting the county to sign off on the property transaction, the group will also need approval of zoning changes and a proposed street closing that has to be authorized for construction to begin.
Area residents also expressed some of their concerns with the project. Some in nearby Spring Garden fear that the lack of parking infrastructure in the project will lead to nearby streets becoming overcrowded, while others are hoping that the stadium project will provide a broader community benefit. Tim Leiweke, a representative of Miami Beckham United, said that the group is looking to address concerns regarding parking. More from The Miami Herald:
“A lot of times, stadiums overpromise and underdeliver,” said Carlos Salas, a Spring Garden resident. “I don’t think we should sell out for 50 jobs.”
Among the scores of residents who expressed approval or dismay at the proposed stadium, none got applause as big as Rev. Clayton Harrell, who said he was not opposed to the stadium, but hoped members of the Beckham investor team focused their energy on helping the homeless and churches in the area.
“I say to the stockholders and people that are investing in this to make an investment in the house of God,” he said.
To address parking concerns, Leiweke unveiled a strategy he said would help keep cars away from the stadium area. He said the team plans to arrange for a dinner-cruise boat to deliver fans to the Miami River a few blocks away, and would arrange for shuttle buses from parking garages in Miami. The team plans to secure at least 2,000 spaces a game, he said. The main focus would be on the nearby Metrorail station, with the Beckham group relying on soccer’s tradition of fans “marching” to the game.
Miami Beckham United has also pledged that 50 jobs permanent jobs will be created at the stadium, at least half of which will pay the county living wage of approximately $15.00 per hour.
Should the stadium move forward, it would likely be on track to open for the 2021 MLS season. The MLS expansion franchise is expected to launch before then, however, and could play at another Miami-area venue on a temporary basis while construction unfolds, according to Leiweke.
The Miami-Dade County Commission is expected to consider the property sale next month.
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