David Beckham declares Overtown ‘is our site’ for Miami soccer
Miami is finally to get its shot at Major League Soccer. David Beckham recently declared Overtown the final choice to host the city’s major league team. The decision was long-awaited, and the expansion will allow a professional soccer squad.
During a Sunday interview with newscaster Glenna Milberg, the soccer legend elaborated on the rocky road leading up to his announcement of finally selecting the end of his quest to find a perfect location for his stadium. Finally, with the MLS approval of Beckham’s Miami franchise, plans for a 25,000-seat stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood are set to move forward.
“It’s been painful at times,” Beckham explained in the Channel 10 interview. “I’m a persistent person. I don’t like to lose.” After an almost 5 year journey, Beckham was more than ready to settle on the location.
This interview is one among many to create a blitz and awareness as the plans for the stadium are finally announced. The newest addition to the stadium in Miami will be the league’s 25th franchise, with plans to use private dollars to build a 25,000-seat, $200 million open-air stadium near the Miami River in Overtown.
Jorge and Jose Mas, Beckham’s newest partners, have continued private discussions about other sites being a possibility, which has raised questions about whether the soccer group might once again change directions and pursue an alternative location.
The Beckham group puts some of those questions to rest. The group owns a significant six acres of land in Overtown, just off of NW Sixth Avenue, and they have plans to purchase an additional three acres of land resulting from a deal with Miami-Dade. The deal does have until later 2018 to officially close. Bruce Matheson, an activist who owns property in the nearby Spring Garden neighborhood, is suing. He intends to overturn the county deal, basing his case on procedural grounds but lost the first round and is currently appealing the ruling.
Miami’s zoning process does provide a second chance for Matheson to sue, as well as objections from allied neighbors regarding the expected significant increase in traffic and noise that the stadium will bring. The soccer group has already gained the support of Mayor Francis Suarez. The general area is already home to Miami’s largest stadium: the 37,000-seat Marlins Park is about two miles away.
Prior to the Mas brothers addition to the company and input in the stadium venture in December, the partnership had considered and actively pursued a stadium site on private and public land directly next to Marlins Park. These plans were abandoned in late 2015 over what was claimed as an overpriced real estate.
“This is our site,” Beckham informed Channel 10. “This is a site we have paid for. This is a site we plan on using.”
After almost five years of ongoing challenges and unexpected obstacles, the 42-year-old father of four is able to move forward on the next step of his career.
Beckham gave a bit of insight in an interview on “Good Morning America” that he used what has happened over the past four years as a life lesson for his children: Brooklyn, 18, Romeo, 15, Cruz, 12, and Harper, 6.
“They’ve seen Daddy fly to Miami. They’ve seen him come back. They’ve seen him smile from talking about Miami. They’ve seen me frustrated,” Beckham said in the interview. “The way of teaching them is by saying it’s not all smooth sailing. There’s going to be difficult times. It’s just how you react when you go through difficult times. That’s what I’ve always tried to teach the kids.”