Sure, most of us are paying attention to what's going on in an existing soccer stadium an entire continent away as of this writing, but the future of a brand new soccer stadium right here in Miami is still very much a floating issue.
Yesterday, County Commissioner Xavier L. Suarez released his own model for what a 40,000-seat soccer stadium for David Beckham's MLS team might look like if it was located right next to Marlins Park.
Mind you, no one asked Suarez to do this. He just kind of had his staff do it on their own. It's clear these plans aren't quite on the professional level we've scene when Beckham's own team came up with plans for previous sites at the port and Museum Park.
Despite that, Suarez says his plan has the support of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Chairman Willy Gort, and commissioners Francis Suarez and Marc Sarnoff. Suarez says the his fellow former mayors, Manny Diaz and Maurrice Ferre, also support the plan (for whatever that's worth).
"As can be seen in the rendering, several small parcels of land would need to be acquired; additionally, minor changes would be necessary on NW 17 Avenue. However, it is feasible and not costly since the infrastructure is already in place," reads a statement from Suarez's office.
"This is the only site with sufficient space which is accessible to public transportation, and also connected to principle roadways. The proposed site also takes into consideration the requirement of the Beckham Group that the stadium be near downtown."
Here's, of course, the two immediately obvious points:
The plans is for a 40,000-seat stadium.
Beckham's plan for a soccer-specific stadium at Museum Park called for just 20,000 seats. That's inline with other MLS stadiums. The only talk of Beckham's group wanting a larger stadium is if they entered a deal to share the stadium with the University of Miami Hurricanes. The school indicated they'd only be open to it if the stadium held -- you guessed it -- at least 40,000 people. Suarez mentioned nothing of this specifically. The school and team decided earlier this month to not go through with the idea anyway, and the Hurricanes would need the blessing of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to get out of their current lease at Sun Life Stadium. Ross isn't keen on the idea, and with his own stadium deal finalized, the county doesn't have much leverage left. So, yes, a plan for 40,000 seats is odd. Very odd.
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MLS doesn't want to be near Marlins Park.
"No -- we're not considering that location," MLS President Mark Abbott told the Miami Herald about land next to Marlins park earlier this month. "Our strong belief is that, to be successful, it needs to be downtown."
So despite the MLS and Beckham wanting a 20,000-seat stadium somewhere in downtown, a county commissioner had produced his own plan for a 40,000-seat stadium just out of downtown. Makes sense?