It has been 22 months since David Beckham, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and others were in Miami to announce the newest team in MLS would be in Miami, Florida and Beckham would be majority owner. After so many locations and plans, we finally may see a light at the end of the tunnel. Beckham has bought land in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami to build a privately paid stadium without taxpayer money.
Beckham and his Miami team have tried to nail down sites all over Miami but have met resistance. Now by essentially paying for the entire thing themselves, Beckham may potentially be able to put this stadium mess behind him. The Overtown site is between 6th and 8th streets on Route 7, just north of the Miami River. Half of the land is currently a vacant lot and the majority of the land was owned by the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.
In case you aren’t familiar with the city of Miami, Overtown is just west of downtown Miami. And with public transportation very near the proposed site, it means it may not be that difficult to get to the stadium. The downside however, is that Overtown is in a pretty rough neighorhood and while there seems to be plans to redevelop that area there’s no guarantee of that happening. One example of that is when the Philadelphia Union and city of Chester built PPL Park. When PPL Park was built, it was supposed to be the start of a rebuilding project of the Chester area. Plans derailed once the housing crisis hit and the economy suffered and except for the stadium and a casino nearby, Chester is still a rather rough neighborhood to place a professional sports team.
Also, just because this land has been bought, that doesn’t mean Beckham can start digging tomorrow. There will still be more meetings and government red tape to deal with as they must work with those who live near the stadium site because I’m sure many will not be pleased that a stadium will be built next to them. Especially when seeing tweets like this.
Not to rain on #Beckham‘s parade, but Overtown residents literally set a site on fire this year over gentrification https://t.co/rkzDEbKHVC
— Tim Elfrink (@timelfrinkmia) December 4, 2015
Pretty much, just like any other Beckham Miami stadium news, I’ll believe it when I actually see shovels going into the ground.