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Beckham announces Miami stadium plans

25 March 2014 10:36

David Beckham has unveiled plans to build a 25,000-seater stadium on Miami's waterfront for his MLS franchise.

The former Manchester United and England midfielder is keen to construct a venue that reflects the local area, affording crowds in the stadium views of the city's skyline and of Miami Bay.

It is thought that there could be opposition to the scheme but Beckham expressed a willingness to work with prospective opponents and NBA franchise the Miami Heat, who already inhabit the area.

"Miami is all about the water, all about the culture," the 38-year-old, who spent five years in the MLS with LA Galaxy, said. "I don't think people see that enough.

"Our stadium, our site is all about the skyline, it's all about the water - it opens up to that. And that's what we want people to see all around the world. It's the most important thing for us.

"I've been to the Miami Heat games, I've been around the area, I've seen the vibrant nature, I've seen the atmosphere - we want people to be part of that.

"There's always going to be snags along the way. There is going to be people who don't agree having the stadium in certain places.

"I'm here to work with those people. I'm not here to have direct conflict with them. I've said to everyone at the Heat, I don't want to be an enemy of them.

"I don't want to be an enemy to those who oppose the stadium. I want to work with them."

Beckham, whose ownership of the franchise was announced in February, will put his own money into the venture and is also being backed by a number of investors.

But he acknowledged the possible need for public money for the project to be realised.

"We will be funding the money ourselves, but as an organisation, we want to be treated like every other (sports franchise)," Beckham said. "We're not asking for anything more or anything less."

Questioned whether the plans could be made to work without state funding, he added: "I don't think it would be fair to say we could or couldn't. We just want to be treated like every other franchise. It's not an ideal world, but this is what we would like to have happen."

It is hoped that the new stadium will be completed in time for the 2018 MLS campaign.

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