With Time Running Out, Beckham Settles For ‘Tainted’ Stadium Site

David Beckham’s option to own an MLS franchise at a discount will soon expire. Unable to find a suitable downtown site to build a stadium, he and his partners have agreed to begin negotiations for a site that they had made clear was a last resort.

MLS rejected the site as recently as last year, saying that it was their ‘strong belief’ was that the club would not be successful unless it was placed downtown, where millennials could walk to games. Beckham’s partner called the Orange Bowl site ‘spiritually tainted’ after the Marlins duped taxpayers to get their stadium built there in a multi-billion dollar scam.

Marlins Stadium has done little to stimulate the neighborhood, and it remains largely a drive-in, drive-out destination on game days. A few dozen games are unlikely to change that, even if they are of a different sport. Mayor Regalado said at a press conference last week that in Miami ‘we are into driving and are happy parking in other people’s front yards,’ and that ‘There has not been any talk about (MetroRail and MetroMover).’

In addition to buying out several private property owners (negotiations are already underway, but the City Manager said it could be done by eminent domain), the stadium will also require removal of Orange Bowl Playground, one of the few green spaces left in the neighborhood. Beckham’s partners say they are considering building an ‘urban park setting’ with restaurants and shops around the stadium.

Beckham will either get the land for free or heavily discounted (according to Regalado, via the Herald‘s Doug Hanks.) Another Herald reporter, Barry Jackson, said that the team would compensate the city for the land. In addition to the value of the land, a property tax exemption could be worth up to $35 million, Field of Schemes says.

 

 

 

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Road Rage
6 years ago

“Mayor Regalado said at a press conference last week that in Miami ‘we are into driving and are happy parking in other people’s front yards,’ and that ‘There has not been any talk about (MetroRail and MetroMover).’”

Jesus Christ….It’s like this mong has a personaly stake in this failing miserably.

Anonymous
6 years ago

If Regalado wants to live in a backwards Cuban city, he should move there.. not make Miami one. VOTE HIM OUT

Marc305
6 years ago

My 2 business partners and I are out! We all like soccer and would have been happy to get season tickets, but not if the stadium is in this area! Horrible, horrible, area! There is a reason why the Marlins have one of the lowest attendance in all of MLB. The stadium needed to be next to public transportation to succeed. By making this decision the Miami club will eventually go the way of the Fusion and Chivas USA. SMH!

East Little Havana Tax Paying Homeowner
6 years ago

This makes my blood boil! How can our Mayor say something like that on MY behalf?? I prefer not parking in other people’s front yards Mayor. I prefer solutions. I prefer innovation Mayor.
I prefer a privately funded Innovation District in my city and I will accept a carefully programmed LED tower in Overtown to fund it. I prefer a world class gallery accompanied by high paying jobs even if it looks like an upside down pyramid and requires a variance for Miami 21. I prefer a Tri-Rail Coastal link connecting all the historic South Florida downtowns to Miami’s, even if it requires some of my tax dollars to take advantage of a once in a lifetime discount offered by a private company looking to build monumental infrastructure and invest in our urban core. I prefer fighting for the best solutions for the future of Miami mayor.
How dare you throw in the towel and say WE prefer to drive and park in people’s front yards? Why can’t our leaders seem to negotiate anything for our future? As if the Marlin’s Park isn’t enough of a reminder of our leadership’s incompetence and corruption. What do commissioners Bovo and Barreiro have to say about this?
Is it that hard to say ” We will explore ways to connect the Stadium Complex to our limited, but expanding mass transit system as we prepare to deal with our horrendous traffic situation” Mayor? There is already an East-West platform at Government Center, dedicated to us by the visionaries of the 1980’s Mayor. Perhaps utilize the platform and extend a stadium connector down Flagler Street as part of the land agreement with the soccer stadium. Use this opportunity to be innovative and actually invest in what this area needs. Flagler Street is zoned T6-12 all the way from downtown to the Stadium. Perhaps the urban potential of this corridor can be realized with less parking, more mass transit, and more innovative thinking Mayor.
I may also be Cuban American, but I am certainly not backwards thinking. If you are also outraged by the Mayor’s comments and still reading this, please like this and all related posts and leave your own comment. Let’s inspire everyone who sees this to be better (because they actually do read this). I pay enough taxes. We demand better Mayor, shame on you for misspeaking on our behalf.

suomynona
6 years ago

As for the “free land” and “tax exemptions”, I’m typically 100% against them. This is from the Field of Schemes link:

Regalado told the Miami Herald he’s not looking for “traditional” ground rent (i.e., actual money) but rather “’community benefits’ that could include special programs for youth, free tickets for residents and other non-monetary offers.”

Assuming these “community benefits” actually cover a significant amount of the subsidy, this may be an acceptable trade-off. But “free tickets” needs to make up a very small percentage of these benefits because that’s not a true “community benefit” in my opinion. Park space, after-school programs, youth athletic programs, employee hiring from Little Havana/Overtown/Allapatah residents, etc., those are “community benefits”.

DUMBIES!
6 years ago

The Retractable roof goes east to west. This sketch is incorrect!!!!

Danny
6 years ago

The sketch is from a preliminary site plan from March 25th 2008. It’s a very tight plot of land actually available for the soccer stadium. I don’t know if it would work or/and be worth it.

suomynona
6 years ago

It’s likely from several years ago before Marlins stadium was even built, back when they were originally proposing to build both stadiums at the same time.

So yes, it is inaccurate. Because the soccer stadium CANNOT be that large since the supports for the Marlins roof take up some of that space now.

==========

Really left disinterested in this MLS team now. Have no real desire to attend games at this location. I don’t see how this team is “successful”. If I’m Beckham, I build the cheapest stadium I could possibly build with the shortest agreement with the City/County I can possibly make and immediately start looking to purchase better property over the next 10 years to build a new/better stadium at a much better site in order to actually make the team viable over the long-term.

And I’m only speaking for myself here, nobody else.

Anonymous
6 years ago

I understand your point as I am disappointed as well. This could have been something special and, as usual, the City and our “visionary” Mayor screwed it up. There is no reason the stadium should not have gone to a public vote. Instead they caved into a vocal minority after agreeing to let the people decide.

The perfect site would have been filling in the slip. Museum Park is a shell of what voters approved and terribly underutilized. I live a few blocks away and it is almost always empty save for a few people walking their dogs. This is what happens when people who live in Pinecrest dictate what goes on in downtown.

Marc305
6 years ago

I live a few blocks away as well and the only time I go there is in the winter when I can roller blade in relative cool weather. I have been there once this summer and all I saw was less than 10 people walking their dogs. Any other location would have been better. The port, Museum Park, even Overtown. Like you said this could have been something special, no vision what so ever!!!

ohmiamicomeon
6 years ago

I cannot think of a worse location for Beckham’s stadium. In the old days, the Orange Bowl was a fun site, prior to the days of unrelenting traffic jams and crowded everything, and yes, Mayor Regalado, we parked in people’s yards. But over the years, Miami has spent gagillions of dollars on mass transit to keep us OUT of our cars for just such events. The traffic jamming is already stupid at rush hour (for that matter, anytime of the day) — add the thousands that then get on the road for a game, and our roads turn to parking lots.

There had been talk of an Overtown site which would be easily accessible by ANY of the mass transit already in place — what happened to that option? Not only is it accessible by mass transit, but it would allow for hundreds of much needed jobs in the area. PLUS, what happened to Miami’s big push for Urban living? Isn’t the MLS interested in attracting millennials who are attracted to that Urban living and now represent about 50% of downtown’s population? I just do not understand.

Oh, and then I hear there is talk of UM and Beckham joining in a stadium together – probably great for UM, but during soccer games (a much smaller audience on average), the stadium would look empty — crappy for Beckham and very disheartening, I’m sure, to any player having to play to a stadium of empty seats.

Come on Miami – steer this train!! Don’t stick another stadium out in the middle of no where and then ask taxpayers to put gagillions more into mass transit to access it. The land is in downtown and so is mass transit!

Marc305
6 years ago

All I have heard in all my years in Real Estate is exactly what you wrote. More urban living and more mass transit, that is what every politician talks about except for Regalado who feels that parking on people’s drive way is the way to go. I have not been this disappointed in years!!

Marc305
6 years ago

@suomynona – Absolutely agree with your comment, my 2 business partners and I would have purchased 3 season tickets the minute they became available but not on this site, not on this area. We know many soccer fans both from Latin America and Europe and they feel exactly the way you do. Horrible decision!

Anonymous
6 years ago

If the team is winning, the location is great. Fans will drive there, and pay up without complaining. With Marlins, it’s not the location, it’s the team itself that sucks. They could play in Madison Square Garden and turn it into a desert. If Beckham assembles solid team, he’ll do OK. If his team wins MLS cup, that area will thrive.

Anonymous
6 years ago

Absolutely correct. This is the perfect location for a soccer stadium. Some people have only a one track mind. Imagine the soccer team playing great and gets in the playoff’s (forgive my ignorance of soccer formalities if that’s not how it goes) and more seating is needed, what better way to solve that problem than going right next door and play in the Marlins stadium? And remember, in the Marlins stadium you can watch a soccer game if it’s raining outside, and watch it in air-conditioned comfort.

Man, you can’t beat that!

bas1
6 years ago

I hope beckham and his team get a chance to read this site,,,,then maybe they can put effort into looking harder in the overtown/Omni area where people could easily get there then maybe continue to utilize area venues in Omni edgewater and wynwood,,seems much better for successful franchise

Anonymous
6 years ago

I know my comment is going to go over like a fart in church but, nevertheless, here goes. isn’t this the exact same location that the once beloved Orange Bowl was once located; a landmark seemingly beloved by the community it served? What’s changed other than the times we live in and the demographics of its surrounding neighborhood? Why is it now such an unappealing place to build a stadium? The great majority of the commenters here are coming across as impossibly rigid and sedity. SMH. So for the naysayers here I ask this one simple question: If you’re a serious soccer fan, you wouldn’t consider attending games at the new venue simply because it’s in a location you deem unacceptable/ undesirable? If it had been built, let’s say for argument’s sake, at the filled in boat slip at Museum Park or PortMiami then you’d attend Yes, I realize that absence of easily accessible public transit might be one of the reasons for this rejection but, and I’m speaking only for myself, if something that I truly loved and were fanatical about were built anywhere in my community I’d find a way to get there, short of hitchhiking or carjacking…LOL. Moreover, the proposed site is a short distance from the aforementioned ones so it’s not like you’d have to trek across town to get there. Yes, I’d lament the fact that it wasn’t more easily accessible but I wouldn’t reject it out right. And, again, for argument’s sake, let’s imagine that five years from now public transit served this area would you still regard it with equal disdain? Just curious and, for the record, this only my opinion. Lord knows I’m not an expert on anything; however, a little clarity on the subject would not altogether be unwelcomed.

Anonymous
6 years ago

You’re right. It appears some of these so-called soccer fans are more of a “Soccer Stadium Site” fan than they are in reality “soccer fans.”

anon
6 years ago

metromover/rail = huge issue here, and one that has been linked to the potential site

the politicians saying “Eh, we don’t have UM on board, we gave them a site they didn’t really want much, and we’re going to expect people to sit in traffic and park in people’s backyards…” It’s really disheartening to see how out of touch they seem to be to the whole situation.

I want to see Beckham succeed with this team- especially since his group is fitting the bill and has continued with the process despite all the setbacks. It’s extremely frustrating how the county bent over backwards for Loria’s terrible ploy, but now they’re going out of their way to screw with this.

Yes, there are a few negative people on here who go out of their way to put down everything…But this is something that has to be done right. We shouldn’t allow Regalado and his lot to half ass it in typical form.

Anonymous
6 years ago

‘we are into driving and are happy parking in other people’s front yards,’ is the most off base and depressing quote I’ve heard in a while. We are screwed as a city going forward with this type of thinking remaining in leadership.

Marc305
6 years ago

Location does matter! I attended one soccer game at the Orange Bowl, a friendly game between Brazil and Mexico. We took the Metro and got off at Jackson Hospital, we walked the rest of the way. By the time we got to the Stadium we were soaking wet with sweat and bitten by bugs all over, on the way back it rained on us and my girlfriend got sick afterwards. I like soccer but there is no way I would ever do that again. Then a few years ago we attended a Marlins game, and we did park in one of the side streets, when we came out our car was blocked in, and we had to wait literally for over 45 minutes until the ass that blocked us came back. So let me say this one more time. Location does matter!

Anonymous
6 years ago

I agree with your comment about it being silly that you would flat out not go because of its location. That said a more accessible location might get you to more games. What has changed since the Orange Bowl was so beloved? It is an increase in population that makes traffic unbearable. I also think the Mayor’s idiotic comments has riled everyone up. I take Uber to Marlin games (from downtown) an it is around $8. Not a bad option…

Anonymous
6 years ago

I love it! Can’t wait to go and finally see soccer being played in the new stadium.

Anonymous
6 years ago

I want to see it close to downtown because I feel it would look better there close to high rise buildings and all the new development. Now lets be honest here yes public transportation would be nice its more of a luxury than a necessity. It will help during games but what happens when there is not games? Underutilized rail? Millions and millions of dollars spent just so people won’t have to drive to see a soccer or baseball game. Be honest, we need more public transportation for everyday use to Work, school, hospital, etc. But not to go see the Marlins loss or a soccer team play with a small fan base. Come on people we can all deal with driving to the game like we been doing for years and save that money to build public transportation elsewhere where we really need it the most because sports are not that important.

Marc305
6 years ago
Anonymous
6 years ago

This is an excellent site, a soccer team should do well there.

Anonymous
6 years ago

I’m happy and excited about this location for a soccer stadium. This probably will be one the of best soccer franchises in the U.S now that the correct site has been made.

Will I Am
6 years ago

The orange bowl and Dolphins succeeded here (IMHO) for many years. A new stadium done right without the taxpayer remorse cloud hanging might be a good thing. Don’t see any reason why Beckam won’t find success. I say, go for it…

Anonymous
6 years ago

Correct site?? It’s the ONLY site they would give him. This is a joke. They are trying to put more crap into an area that failed in hopes of it picking up. Its be 3+ years of Marlins Park and all the retail spaces are still empty!! Guess what… it will continue to happen because no one in Miami gives a $hit to do anything about it. Embarrassing.

Anonymous
6 years ago

Yes, it’s the correct site. Amusing how people in Miami whine about giving land away to developers on one hand, but have nary a tiny bit of a problem about giving land away to Beckham for a soccer stadium in the other hand, as long as the stadium is built where THEY want it.