More information about the contentious Miami Freedom Park soccer complex has also been made public. The potential development would rise on the city-owned Melreese Country Club golf course, and Beckham and partners successfully convinced city commissioners to put the development on the ballot in November. If voters approve, Beckham’s partnership would lease about half of Melreese from the city for 39 years (with an option to extend their lease to 99 years), while the city would need to renovate the rest of the country club using taxpayer funds. Beckham and Mas have enlisted hometown favorite Arquitectonica to plan and design the complex. In addition to the 10.5.-acre, 25,000-seat soccer stadium that anchors the plan, Freedom Park could contain 23 acres of soccer fields, 3,750 parking spots (a radical departure from Beckham’s first stadium proposal), 600,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 750 hotel rooms, and 400,000 square feet of offices. In the updated renderings, Arquitectonica has included a playground, skate park, and golf facility on the city-owned portion of the park, which, if built, would be constructed with public funding. The curving canopies of the stadium, which swirl around the open field and resemble an aperture, will extend out to beyond the building proper and seemingly cover other public areas. Miami residents will vote on whether to move ahead with Freedom Park this November.
Posts tagged with "Major League Soccer":
David Beckham’s planned Major League Stadium in Miami is facing hurdle after hurdle—first, there was the struggle to find a stadium site, resulting in a three-year long search before finally settling on a location in the Overtown neighborhood. Now, a wealthy landowner is filing a lawsuit to block the county’s no-bid deal to sell land for the stadium, as first reported by the Miami Herald.
Landowner and activist Bruce Matheson, who owns property near the stadium site, filed a suit last week against Miami-Dade County over the $9 million land sale to Miami Beckham United. Matheson claims that the land deal broke state law, as the deal was no-bid when Florida law demands that state land sales should go to “the highest and best bidder,” according to the Herald. Matheson also said that he would buy the three acres of land himself, adding that the county was underselling the property’s value.
A long-time supporter of the stadium, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez had previously avoided the state law by using an economic-development law that requires certain hiring requirement and community benefits to sell the land.
This is not the first time Matheson has blocked a major sports site. He previously prevented the expansion of a tennis stadium in Key Biscayne.
“It’s apparent that Mr. Matheson hates professional sports,” Michael Hernández, Gimenez’s communications director, said to the Herald. “He’s doing his best to drive out the Miami Open from Key Biscayne, and now he hopes to block Major League Soccer from coming to Miami.”
Beckham is still waiting for league approval, as well as a commitment from his investors to stay with the behind-schedule project. The proposed sale was approved in June, but the Beckham group has not yet put a down payment on the land. The deadline is mid-September to make the $500,000 payment, otherwise, the land will be lost and the search starts all over again.