It was the David Beckham stadium that might have been — and still might be.
Miami-Dade on Tuesday released to the Miami Herald a slide show that Beckham’s negotiating team showed residents and the media during a town hall last month on plans for a soccer stadium in Overtown.
That presentation from the Dec. 17 meeting contained a tantalizing image: an architectural rendering of a partially-enclosed stadium on the site where Beckham and investors want to build their privately-financed home for Major League Soccer. Tim Leiweke, the Beckham partner heading up the Miami project, said the rendering came from the group's previous plans to build the stadium next to Marlins Park in Little Havana -- an effort that broke down late last year.
During the packed town hall, Leiweke said the group used the rendering to show that such a stadium could fit on the two-block site in Overtown now targeted by the soccer star. A disclaimer on the stadium slide said the rendering is “not indicative of any plans for this particular site.”
It appeared to be the first time the rendering was made public (Beckham spokesman Tadd Schwartz said Tuesday he did not think the rendering had been released before the meeting) and so it quickly got attention from the assembled media and soccer fans. Beckham aides declined to make the rendering, or accompanying presentation, immediately available when a reporter asked for it.
But with the event a public meeting, the Miami-Dade Clerk’s Office requested a copy for its records. Beckham’s group turned it over to the office of Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, who hosted the town hall. The Herald had a public-records request with the Clerk’s Office for the presentation, and it was delivered Tuesday. (We posted it first on our Naked Politics blog.)
The mesh-like roof covers the stands but leaves the soccer field (known as the pitch) open to the sun and the elements. The design resembles the partial enclosure Beckham’s group unveiled when he first was pursuing a stadium site at PortMiami in early 2014. That was designed by Coconut Grove’s Arquitectonica. Miami-Dade leaders rejected the port proposal, prompting Beckham to look elsewhere in Miami.
It's not clear what (if anything) may need to change in the latest design now that targeted location has moved about a mile away to Overtown. Neisen Kasdin, a Beckham lobbyist and lawyer who used to be the mayor of Miami Beach, said Tuesday that even the Little Havana rendering wasn't necessarily the final product.
"It was the initial design," Kasdin said.
To read the full slide-show presentation, click here.