The David Beckham-led business group behind the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise for Miami has released the first imagery of their new plans for a stadium to house the team.
The Miami Freedom Park masterplan has been disclosed ahead of a City Commission meeting on Thursday where officials will consider whether to put the project to a referendum that will be held in November.
In January, Beckham claimed victory in his long-running efforts to bring an MLS expansion franchise to Miami, but a number of question marks remained, including final details on the new stadium that will house the team.
At the time, the league said Miami’s team will play in a privately developed, 25,000-seat stadium in the city’s urban core. A nine-acre site in Overtown had been pinpointed but the Beckham group was said to have had private discussions about other potential sites.
Details of the Miami Freedom Park plan have been released to the Miami Herald newspaper. The site would include a 25,000-seat stadium; 600,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurant and retail space; 400,000 square feet of office space; a golf entertainment facility; 3,750 parking spaces; 750 hotel rooms and 110 acres of open green space.
Commissioners will meet on Thursday to consider sending the question of whether Miami should change its laws to accept a no-bid deal that would lead to the development of Miami Freedom Park at the Melreese Country Club golf course next to Miami International Airport.
The Beckham group would privately fund construction of the complex under a proposed 39-year lease, with an option to extend this contract to 99 years.
The Herald said team owners would pay $4m (£3m/€3.4m) to $5m in rent to the city annually and pay state, county, city and school board taxes on 73 acres of rezoned land. This would generate an estimated $44m in new annual taxes across all jurisdictions, with the project as a whole given a $1bn price tag.
Image: Miami Herald