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.
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.