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Beckham Faces Competition In Bid For New MLS Stadium

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David Beckham (Source: CBS4)

David Beckham (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – David Beckham and his group of investors still want to bring a MLS Soccer Club to Miami but are now facing some competition from across the country.

According to the Daily Mail, there is a group of Chinese and South Korean investors who want Beckham and his group to invest in Los Angeles-based Chivas USA.

In response to the Daily Mail article, the Miami Beckham United group released a statement that reads, “We don’t discuss specifics of proposals. Miami is our preferred choice and we are working hard to give the people of the city what they want and deserve, however we have always said that there are other cities that would welcome an MLS club owned by David and his partners.”

According to the article, the MLS wants Chivas to move away from its current home at the StubHub Center in California.

Beckham, meantime, has always said he wants to build a waterfront stadium in Miami but is now reeling from two major losses.

Beckham’s group first planned on building a soccer stadium at PortMiami, overlooking the water and the skyline but it wasn’t long before the plan fell through. That was “Plan A.”

Then came “Plan B,” which was to fill an unused boat slip nestled between the AmericanAirlines Arena and Museum Park. Stadium renderings, unveiled in late May, showed the area surrounded by green space.

City of Miami Mayor Regalado loved it.

READ: Beckham’s Group Unveils Plan “B” Soccer Stadium

But that all changed Monday June 9th when Plan B fell through when Regalado pulled the plug on the proposal which would have required voter approval and many residents and park activists were vehemently opposed to it.

Click here to watch Gary Nelson’s report.

Always resilient, Beckham’s group issued a statement saying, “We respect Mayor Regalado’s decision. David and our team are experiencing an incredible level of support and passion to bring MLS to Miami.”

So now on to the next…what’s “Plan C” going to be?

The group has flatly rejected a spot next to the Marlins Baseball Park, also known as the site of the former Orange Bowl. However, there’s some new support behind the location.  A petition was recently launched to generate interest for the location.

Those behind the petition claim benefits of building a stadium there include:

  • Since the demolition of the Orange Bowl, Miami Hurricanes football has been played in Broward, creating inconvenience and frustration to fans and students alike.  The University of Miami has expressed enthusiasm and interest in returning to its home.
  • For myriad reasons the site would save  taxpayers up to $125 million in impact fees due to already-existing infrastructure, parking, water and power base.
  • The inland location contributes greatly to the community surroundings, which are truly representative of Miami’s diverse cultures.
  • Initial plans and renderings envision a booming entertainment central combining two beautiful stadiums that would attract amazing performances from artists across the globe.

 

The petition web site claims the push to have Beckham build at the old Orange Bowl site has the interest of many local politicians including former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, former Miami Mayor and current County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, Miami Commissioners Francis Suarez and Marc Sarnoff, and Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago.

“This initiative marks a turning point in what has been a contentious debate,” said a joint statement from Xavier Suarez, Francis Suarez, Manny Diaz and Vince Lago.  “This is a great solution that in theory should please many different constituencies.  Beckham deserves the best our community has to offer, and we firmly believe this site would set his team up for success in our community long in to the future, while bringing the passion for Canes football back to where it belongs.”

Click here to sign the online petition.

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