MIAMI—Miami Beckham United has picked the spotfor the new Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium. The ownership group,led by David Beckham, MarceloClaure, and Simon Fuller, settled on along-underutilized Florida East Coast (FEC) railway slip alongBiscayne Boulevard to build its privately-funded stadium.

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This is a strategic area for the Magic City, seeing as it's thelast dormant stretch of Downtown Miami's waterfront. Once thestadium is completed, this area will be home to green spaces,public plazas and promenades, and, of course, a soccer stadiumthat's home to an MLS team.

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As part of the project, Museum Park will expand to include thereclaimed FEC slip and Parcel B, the empty plot of land behind theAmerican Airlines Arena. That totals a net gain of more than fouracres of public park space—and ultimately results in a park thatspans 23 acres of contiguous green space and connects Pérez ArtMuseum Miami and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Sciencewith Bayfront Park.

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“I've always said that our team will be the people'sclub—another downtown amenity that makes the entire Miami-Dadecommunity proud,” says Beckham. “By expanding Museum Park with newpublic spaces anchored by world-class art and science museums and aworld-class soccer club, we'll be activating the waterfront on ayear-round basis.”

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The team's 20,000-seat soccer venue will feature a north-southorientation along Biscayne Boulevard so that the majority ofnewly-created park space is along the waterfront and resulting inmaximum connectivity with Downtown Miami and nearby public transitlinks. With an average of 20 to 25 events hosted each year, thesoccer venue will attract as many as 500,000 people to DowntownMiami annually.

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One of the keywords for this project is privately-funded. MiamiBeckham United has vowed to fund the soccer venue privately. Thatmeans zero dollars from the City of Miami or Miami-Dade County. Theowners will cover the complete cost of all aspects of the project,including reclaiming the FEC slip and expanding Museum Park. Theteam is committed to paying fair market value for use of the landand to launching a youth soccer academy in Miami-Dade County.

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“My hometown of Miami is ready to welcome a professional soccerteam capable of attracting the world's best players, and that'sexactly what David, Simon, and I will deliver,” says Claure. “Ourplans to transform the FEC slip and Parcel B into soccer groundsand a public park will give Miami fans a chance to experience thethrill of the sport right in the heart of downtown. I'm lookingforward to the day when I can watch a major soccer match withoutleaving Miami.”

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A proposed inter-local agreement that will transfer the FEC slipand surrounding land from the City of Miami to Miami-Dade County,in exchange for the County's transfer of Parcel B to City hands,made the site selection possible. Now it's up to the Miami voters,who will vote on the proposed agreement in a referendum held overthe coming months.

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“Museum Park has the potential to be one of the country's greaturban spaces along the water,” says JohnAlschuler, strategic advisor to Miami Beckham United. “Ourvision creates an expanded public park and completes the downtownMiami waterfront, allowing pedestrians to travel by foot fromBrickell Avenue all the way north to the new art and sciencemuseums. We look forward to working with the citizens and City ofMiami to help shape this idea into a firm plan for a new, enhancedMuseum Park.”

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Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Beckham in nextweek's GlobeSt.com.

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