It's been a long four years, but David Beckham's Miami soccer stadium finally got its first form of public approval today when the county commissioners agreed to sell his group the final three-acre parcel needed to complete the site. The deal, for $9 million, means Beckham's group have now spent a total of $28 million on the stadium land, which is located in Overtown, northwest of Downtown Miami, near the AmericanAirlines Arena.
But the stadium is still far from a done deal. They still need approval from the city to rezone the lot and build, which is both an easy sell but also likely to face stiff opposition. On the one hand, Beckham and company aren't asking for any subsidies and will pay property taxes, a rarity in the American sports stadium world (but a necessity in Miami after the disastrous Marlins Park fiasco). But, local residents are likely to make their voices heard, since not everyone is thrilled about having a 25,000 seat stadium in their actual backyards. Plus, the plan doesn't call for any parking construction, meaning there's a very reasonable expectation for traffic nightmares and parking shenanigans on game days. "We're going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing," one of Beckham's lawyers told the Herald last month. Water taxis! At least they'll be able to easily adapt when the stadium is surrounded by three feet of water.
Nevertheless, Beckham's lawyers and managers are feigning enthusiasm over the site—"I will tell you this is probably the best site we have found, for many respects," one of Beckham's other lawyers told the AP—but it's probably more relief. The Miami Herald did a not-so-quick rundown of the four-year history of Beckham's Miami expansion franchise, which has looked at sites at PortMiami, the Miami waterfront, and next to Marlins Park prior to the Overtown location. So, sure, I guess this is the best site, in a very "it's always in the last place you look" kind of way.