Now that two different sites are off the table for a potential Major League Soccer Stadium; the question is what is next for David Beckham?
“The only city land left for the city to do any kind of deal will be the Marlins Stadium, because in the 2007 original footprint, there was a soccer stadium beside the baseball stadium,” Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said.
Plan A for the stadium was at PortMiami. However, stiff opposition from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and other interests pushed back against that plan. The Miami-Dade County Commission eventually pulled the possible site completely out of the equation.
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Plan B was the site at Museum Park, the FEC slip. The plan called for filling in the boatslip, creating a new park in the area, and building a 20,000 seat stadium next door to the AmericanAirlines Arena. Both plans would have created what Beckham wanted, a stadium on the water.
As recently as last week, Beckham told NBC 6 that he was finding some support for the stadium site at Museum Park.
“There was a few of them that actually said, ‘Hope you get the stadium. Looking forward to the stadium being downtown,” Beckham said last Friday.
By Tuesday, the Museum Park/FEC slip was confirmed to be a no-go. Mayor Regalado, who along with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez suggested the site to Beckham, said he and the Miami City manager had determined the stadium shouldn’t be built at the FEC slip site.
Some residents in the downtown area pushed the city to not bend it for Beckham at the expense of the community overall.
“Downtown, ten years ago, was a wasteland, and the City worked very hard to get a bunch of people to move down here, and we did,” said Dalia Lagoa, president of the Downtown Neighbors Alliance. “Because we bought into this concept, and we were sold on the vision that we would have a museum and a beautiful park.”
The plan for the stadium now is in limbo. While Regalado suggested a site near Marlins Park, the Miami Beckham United group said it will take some time off to weigh more options for a stadium and location.
Once a site is eventually selected, he stadium is expected to cost upwards of $250 million and will be privately financed.