It appears what was once “Plan B” for a soccer stadium in downtown Miami has quickly become “Plan A.” According to Miami Beckham United, the Mayors of Miami and Miami-Dade County officially recommended a site near the AmericanAirlines Arena for the new soccer park.
The site, a boat slip near the AmericanAirlines Arena, would require the Beckham group to fill in the area and could involve issues related to the waterfront as well. Mayors Regalado and Gimenez made the recommendation Monday.
"I can say, what I saw, I liked," Mayor Gimenez said. "It's the creation of a bigger park, a better park. The addition of the stadium there that'll enhance the feel and excitement of the park."
Having both mayors on board with the plan should make it easier for Beckham United to gain support from city and county commissioners, especially with Beckham’s group vowing to privately finance the new soccer park.
"The city of Miami and the residents will get more park land and it will get more park land on the waterfront, which is what we want for the residents of downtown Miami; so we have to continue the conversation," said Mayor Regalado.
Miami Beckham United had originally targeted an area on the southwest corner of PortMiami for the new soccer stadium. However, that plan met resistance from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and several other business interests.
Beckham United released a statement Monday afternoon that read:
“Miami Beckham United appreciates the vision and leadership that Mayors Gimenez and Regalado have demonstrated in identifying the best possible site for an MLS soccer venue. Both Mayors are in agreement that downtown Miami and soccer are a perfect match. Expanding Museum Park with the addition of the FEC slip and Parcel B will complete the vision of a continuous downtown waterfront anchored by world-class museums and a world-class soccer park. We look forward to working with the Mayors to make our case to their respective Commissions and the community over the coming months. Our collective goal is clear: Miami Beckham United will deliver a park and soccer venue that will make Miami proud.”
One detail that may concern residents in the area is the potential for traffic congestion that will come with the stadium. Both mayors said the renovations to the area and the increased park land will make up for it.
Beckham's group said that with a site agreed upon, the next step is to work out the financial details of the stadium park plan.
The proposal is still expected to go before the voters before being given a final green light. The vote will likely come during the November general election.