MIAMI (CBSMiami) – International soccer star David Beckham and his partners want to redevelop Miami’s only public golf course into a 28,000 seat soccer stadium.
The 23-acre plan would also include youth soccer fields, hotels, stores, restaurants and a park.
It will be called Freedom Park.
The Miami commission will decide this week whether to put approval for proposal on the November ballot. Some, however, are already expressing opposition to it.
They say it’s heartbreaking to the 15,000 kids a year who learn and play golf at the Melreese Golf Course, most of them at no charge.
“It breaks my heart to know that I may or may not have this space soon and it’s the worst thing ever,” said Sara Matos, a student in the First Tee golf program.
Beckham’s partner Jorge Mas calls the MLS plan a great multi-use facility.
“We strongly feel that the City of Miami commission should allow the voters to decide and I’m very confident that the voters in the City Of Miami will see the attributes of this project and will allow our dream to become a reality,” said Mas.
Commissioner Ken Russell is among those who would have put that dream to the vote of the people. On Monday, he stopped by the course and checked out the children’s program.
“There are two sides to every story and it’s really important as a commissioner to be as informed as you can about what goes on with an asset this city has,” he said.
The Beckham group hopes to keep a not yet detailed golf component of some sort in the new soccer complex. Whether that means the kids’ program will continue is not clear.