A new stadium for Miami’s professional soccer team scored major points last month when David Beckham made a land purchase in preparation for construction of the Populous-designed 25,000 seat-venue.
The Miami Beckham United team, backed by the star, received approval from politicians in Miami-Dade county to buy the three-acre parcel of land in Overtown, for $9 million USD.
This paves the way for the construction of a 25,000-seat venue designed by Populous, the architecture firm behind the London 2012 Olympic stadium.
"By purchasing the last piece of land needed for our privately-funded stadium, Miami Beckham United (MBU) is achieving another major milestone on the way to Major League Soccer formally awarding Miami a franchise," said a statement from MBU.
Attempts to bring Major League Soccer to the city were initiated by Beckham in February 2013, but have been stalled by rejected planning applications, deals falling through and resistance from locals.
Securing the land lifts hopes to move forward with the plans, which are also backed by music and TV entrepreneur Simon Fuller, Bolivian telecommunications billionaire Marcelo Claure and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.
"MBU has assembled a world-class team of partners, presented a vision for building the premier soccer club in the Americas, and assembled the land needed to build our stadium," MBU said.
"Now is the time for MLS to move forward in helping us deliver the soccer club that Miami has been waiting for."
The initial stadium proposal, a bowl-shaped stadium by Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture for the Port of Miami, was rejected by politicians in 2014. The latest design by Populous – who have extensive experience in designing sporting facilities - has a less curvaceous form, but still features an open roof. It now is surrounded by exposed columns that allow views into the terraces.
Other facilities designed by Populous include Marlin Park, home of the Miami Marlins baseball team, which, in 2012, became the world’s first LEED® Gold Certified retractable roof facility.