Miami Beckham United holds town hall meeting about stadium project

Miami Beckham United participated in a town hall informational meeting with local residents on Thursday, as partner Tim Leiweke and Miami mayor Tomas Regalado were among those on hand to speak with the public about the proposed stadium project.

The project, to be located in the Overtown neighborhood northwest of downtown Miami, has not been officially designed yet, and Leiweke explained the renderings shown in the meeting were not the actual plans for the stadium moving forward. He did note that the stadium itself would be entirely privately funded, at a estimated budget of $220 million, and privately operated.

The stadium is slated to be an 25,000-capacity outdoor stadium with a partial roof and a grass playing surface, intended to attract top talent to the team, he explained.

“Soccer, as the world’s most popular sport, is a tremendous opportunity to have an impact on the kids and the youth of this community,” Leiweke said. “We want to make sure we allow any kid in this community who wants to play soccer an opportunity to do that.”

Regalado told residents concerned about housing being eliminated in order to facilitate the stadium project that "there are no plans to relocate anybody." Leiweke noted that the team would be asking the city to vacate 7th Street in order to build the stadium, though no parking garages are expected to be necessary, with some 7,000 spaces currently in the vicinity and the Culmer Metrorail station close by.

While there were mixed opinions shared during the meeting concerning the stadium project, those holding the meeting repeatedly emphasized that the point of the meeting was to get input from the public concerning the project, in order to make it most amenable to those living in the area.

MLS owners announced support for the Overtown stadium site after their Board of Governors meeting on Dec. 6 in Columbus.

"We are very supportive of Miami Beckham United's plans to build a soccer stadium in the city of Miami's Overtown neighborhood," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement at the time. 

"Their vision for a world-class venue within the urban core that is accessible by mass transportation is impressive, and we believe it will be an important part of the continued revitalization of the area. We look forward to working with David and his partners to finalize plans to bring Major League Soccer to Miami."

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