In a city famous for its parking structures, this apparent omission may seem like a big deal. Representatives from Beckham’s company, though, were eager to explain their thinking at a community meeting earlier this month.
“We’re going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing,” Spencer Crowley, a lobbyist and lawyer for Miami Beckham United, told the Miami Herald. “We view this as a paradigm shift for the county as to how people get to large events.”
In the spirit of soccer’s arrival traditions, fans on foot would march from the nearest Metrorail station to the stadium, in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. For the drivers, Miami Beckham United would reserve 2,000 spots in the city’s parking garages, hiring shuttle buses to bring spectators to the stadium. Another idea: A dinner cruise boat (yes) could also dock along the Miami River and fans would walk a few blocks to see the game.
When the group showed preliminary renderings of the stadium to residents a year and a half ago, many complained that the volume appeared too bulky. New renderings, by Populous, show an airier design than the first, with a thinner canopy and more apertures to capture the Florida breeze.
The stadium would open in 2021, with approvals for zoning changes expected to take a year.
This is only the latest chapter in the quest to bring an MLS team to Miami. Last year, Beckham wasn’t able to find an investor for the $300 million expansion franchise’s home, but now, L.A. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has signed on to the stadium, and the team could play in a temporary location during construction.
Before it can move forward with MLS, though, Beckham’s group needs an agreement to purchase the county-owned site for $9 million. The terms of the deal with Miami-Dade County let Beckham delay the purchase of the land until the City of Miami approves his group’s stadium proposal.
At a public meeting on May 17, area residents came out to voice their thoughts on the new proposal. Residents of the wealthy Spring Garden neighborhood expressed concern that their neighborhood would be overrun with people looking for a place to park.