David Beckham’s football stadium complex in Miami clears a hurdle

English soccer star David Beckham’s plans to build a sprawling soccer complex have been approved after Miami city commissioners gave Inter Miami CF the green light.

The city voted 4-1 to allow leases that will allow Beckham and his partners to develop the complex.

The billion-dollar project will redevelop the city’s Melreese Country Club near Miami International Airport. Named “Miami Freedom Park”, it will include a 25,000-seat stadium, 750 hotel rooms, retail and community grounds.

With more than 23 hectares, it will become the largest park in the city.

In an Instagram post, Beckham thanked fans for their “support, patience and passion”.

“Your dream is a reality,” he wrote Thursday night.

“Finally, I want to thank Jorge and Jose Mas and the whole Mas family for believing in my dream and making it a reality.”

Jorge and Jose Mas are co-owners of the Major League Soccer club alongside Beckham.

Miami City Mayor Francis Suarez said the project will “put us back on the world stage.” Mr Suarez also argued that Miami deserves to host the 2026 World Cup, which will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

“We not only deserve this, we should be the home of Fifa and the World Cup in 2026,” he said.

Owner-manager Jorge Mas said the project would be privately funded. The stadium itself will cost $350 million.

Taxpayers will contribute “zero dollars” and the city will recoup $2.6 billion over 99 years over the course of the deal, Suarez said in an interview with Fox News.

Inter Miami made their MLS debut in 2020 after securing an expansion berth two years earlier.

The club currently plays at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The club will maintain permanent facilities in the South Florida city and continue to play games at DRV PNK Stadium while the club constructs Miami Freedom Park, Inter Miami said in a statement.

Bloomberg contributed to this report

Updated: April 29, 2022, 8:50 p.m.

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