David Beckham spoke in downtown Miami Monday after his Major League Soccer ownership group revealed its designs for a new PortMiami stadium. NBC 6's Justin Finch reports.
David Beckham spoke in downtown Miami Monday after his Major League Soccer ownership group revealed its designs for a new PortMiami stadium.
Beckham said once more that he wants the stadium and the team to resonate with Miami residents.
"I want it to be a team that feels very personal to the people in the city, that they can connect to," he said.
Miami Beckham United held a news conference earlier on Monday to release renderings of the proposed open-air stadium, which features views of the downtown skyline and a new public plaza on Biscayne Bay, the Miami Herald reported.
The design features a curvy canopy that would protect spectators from the elements with a center than opens to the sky. The grandstands are steep, giving fans a sweeping view of the field and putting them right on top of the action.
Not seen in the sketches are public transportation hubs, which Beckham hopes will relieve traffic, along with some 20,000 parking spots.
Beckham explained he wants the stadium to be part of PortMiami's vibrant culture.
"I think for me Miami is all about the water, all about the culture and I don't think people see that enough," he said. "Our stadium, our site is all about the skyline, all about the water and it opens up to that. That's what we want people to see all around the world."
The PortMiami site comes with some issues, including Miami-Dade County Commissioners who are concerned about traffic and port operations. There's also the matter of parking and the opposition from port tenant Royal Caribbean.
Beckham announced last month that he had chosen Miami as the city for his new MLS franchise, and said finding a stadium site has been a top priority for his ownership group.
"We think it’s time to share our vision," John Alschuler, Beckham’s New York-based real-estate advisor, told the Herald. "Let’s have a full, vigorous public debate about it.
"We feel a stadium downtown can be a key contributor to the revival of a great city. David loves what it’s becoming, and much of that energy is downtown."
Alschuler said the games, which will be held mostly at night, won't overlap with cruise ship arrivals and departures. He added that if the PortMiami site doesn't work, there are other options including spots near Marlins Park, Miami International Airport and Florida International University.
The plan calls for an unused drawbridge that connects downtown Miami and the port to be converted into a linear park for pedestrians. Dining and retail establishments and a nightclub open year-round to the public would also be included.
As for the finances, Beckham said he is going to Tallahassee Tuesday to seek state funding.
"Like I said, we will be funding this stadium ourselves, but as an organization, as a franchise, we want to be treated like any other franchise is treated," he said.
Beckham and his group have said they won't be seeking money from Miami-Dade County or the City of Miami.