David Beckham, partner Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and producer Simon Fuller, have come to an agreement with Miami mayor Tomas Regalado to construct a Major League Soccer stadium “Beckham United” at the site of the former Orange Bowl, not far from Marlins Stadium. It seems like a win after Beckham’s attempts to grab a piece of Bayfront Park for his stadium were halted by the mayor, environmentalists, downtown residents, and pretty much everyone else who values waterfront greenspace over stadiums.
Nothing has been signed yet, making the deal totally tentative, with Claure telling the Miami Herald that this was indeed the “moment of truth.” Additionally, Regalado has to get approval from city commissioners, but given the fact the new stadium will be funded completely with private funds, and it’s on the site of an existing stadium, agreement would seem likely.
Not much has been released except the following statement from their spokespeople: “We’re still in the early planning stages and several viable options still exist, but our preferred stadium location is the former Orange Bowl site. [The ownership group] is thrilled by the initial outpouring of support we’ve received from our fans and we’re excited about sharing our plans with the City, County and community soon.”
While the demand for David Beckham in Miami is pretty obvious, the demand for actual MLS soccer and an MLS stadium, remains to be seen. After all, this isn’t Miami’s first rodeo. The city had a major league team as recently as 2002, when the Miami Fusion, shut down after only four years due to lackluster ticket sales. We hope this time around will be different and if they build it, they will come.