Football star David Beckham has made a major step towards building a home for his professional soccer team in Miami, after the public voted to approve the project.
The vote – which took place on 6 November 2018 to coincide with US midterm elections – invited the Miami public to decide whether city officials can negotiate a no-bid lease deal for Beckham’s soccer stadium for the city.
The former England captain wants to transform the former site of Melreese Country Club, next to Miami International Airport, into a complex dedicated to his new professional football team Club Internacional de Futbol Miami — or Inter Miami.
It would include a 25,000-seat stadium, along with a 23-hectare park, a hotel, shopping precinct and public sports grounds, designed by Miami-headquartered firm Arquitectonica.
While the vote does not confirm the park, it marks a major move forward for Beckham, who has been trying to realise his dream of a major league soccer (MLS) team for years.
His attempts to bring a team to Miami began in 2013 – the same year that he retired from the profession – but proposals for a home venue have been stalled by rejected planning applications, deals falling through and resistance from locals.
“I started this dream five and a half years ago… to bring a team to Miami, to bring a team to this great city,” Beckham reportedly said at a rally following the vote.
“We’ve had some speed bumps along the way,” he added. “We’ve had a few problems along the way.”
If negotiations with the city are successful, Miami Freedom Park and Soccer Village is slated for completion in 2021.
Beckham, 43, focused on developing the Melreese scheme in September 2018, following a past ambition to build a stadium on another plot of land designed by Populous – the architecture firm behind the London 2012 Olympic stadium.
Populous, however, was recently dropped in favour of Arquitectonica – the firm that developed the first proposal for the Miami stadium in 2014 with 360 Architecture, which was rejected by politicians.Read more