What to Know
- David Beckham and Jorge Mas have revealed plans to build a soccer stadium on Miami's only public golf course
- City commissioners will decide in July whether to put the stadium up for vote in November
Miami's only public golf course at the Melreese Country Club is being eyed to house a Major League Soccer stadium, a notion not popular with local golfers.
Soccer star David Beckham and business tycoon Jorge Mas have met with Miami city commissioners to include the construction of the stadium to a referendum in the November ballot. Their vision, Mas tweeted, includes a "transformational world class park, soccer village and tech hub" for the city.
The course, situated right next to Miami International Aiport, has been in business since the 1940's and is famous in the city's golf community. City commissioner Willy Gort believes the course should remain intact.
"I think a public golf course is very important, especially Malreese," Gort said. "It's been there for years, it is known worldwide. We had the PGA Latino take place there for the next three years and who knows what is going to happen in the future."
Melreese is known for its outreach programs, like the First Tee Miami, which introduces kids to the game of golf.
"It just wouldn't be nice, it just wouldn't make any sense to take away this beautiful golf course," said golfer Ken Patterson. "There are plenty of other places they can go."
Beckham has considered several other stadium locations, including Overtown and downtown.
"Just think about the Marlins stadium, I mean how far can you go?" said golfer Carlos Sanchez. "They are going to give away a beautiful place for us to play golf here, give it to a millionaire for them to make their money, it is as simple as that."
The proposed stadium would accommodate 25,000 people and include a hotel, office space, restaurants, recreational soccer fields and green space. The city would maintain ownership of all the land and would expect to receive millions in annual property tax revenues.
Miami commissioners would need to approve the measure at a meeting on July 12 or July 26.
Mas is expected to meet with two more commissioners by the end of the week.