Kick the Vote

Miami approved David Beckham’s soccer stadium site in ballot vote

Development East News
Yesterday Miami voters approved a referendum to cancel competitive bidding at the city-owned site where David Beckham now plans to build his Inter Miami CF stadium and complex. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)
Yesterday Miami voters approved a referendum to cancel competitive bidding at the city-owned site where David Beckham now plans to build his Inter Miami CF stadium and complex. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)

In yesterday’s midterm elections, Miami residents voted to approve a referendum that brings David Beckham’s Freedom Park soccer complex one step closer to fruition after a five-year battle.

According to The Miami Herald, the referendum gets rid of competitive bidding for the property where Beckham and his partners now want to build, a 131-acre site near Miami International Airport currently home to the city-owned Melreese golf course. On the ballot, voters were asked whether or not the local government would be allowed to change bidding laws within the city charter to secure a no-bid deal at the massive public green space.

Freedom Park Miami Arquitectonica

Initial renderings of the Arquitectonica-designed stadium for the Melreese site were released in September. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)

About 60 percent of voters endorsed the measure, solidifying the chances that the $1 billion project, designed by Arquitectonica, will actually get built. The city can now begin to negotiate a 99-year-lease for a minimum of $3.5 million per year with Beckham’s Miami Freedom Park LLC, a group jointly-owned by Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure, and business brothers Jorge and Jose Mas.


The developers plan to use 73 acres to build a 25,000-seat stadium for Miami’s future Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami CF, as well as 750 hotel rooms, and at least one million square feet of office, retail, and commercial space. The referendum also calls for Beckham’s group to financially back a 58-acre public park near the complex, which will cost about $20 million to construct.

The Miami Herald reported that critics of the decision to build the mega-project are defending the value of the golf club’s youth and mentoring programs. Concern is also rising over the toxic dirt that sits underneath the parkland, which was contaminated by an old municipal incinerator. The city will likely have to approve a serious land remediation plan before moving forward with negotiating final lease terms.

Site plan of the Melreese development (Courtesy Miami Freedom LLC)

Site plan of the Melreese development (Courtesy Miami Freedom LLC)

Now that voters are behind the goal to build at Melreese, Beckham’s team will have to find a new vision for the nine-acre plot of land it owns in Overtown, Miami, where the soccer star previously wanted to develop a stadium designed by Populous.

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