David Beckham’s sport retailtainment ‘Miami Freedom Park’ revealed

Video shows first images of David Beckham’s ‘Miami Freedom Park’. However the stadium complex and retailtainment park, planned to replace a golf course in Miami, Florida, is proving controversial.

David Beckham and Jorge Mas of MasTec have released images of the stadium complex and park they plan to build in Miami, Florida. The Miami Freedom Park complex would be built on the site of city-owned Melreese Country Club and golf course, situated near Miami International Airportat Northwest 37th Avenue and the Dolphin Expressway.

A video of the project showed a 25,000- seat stadium, alongside a restaurant and retail space. It will also include office park, hotels, football fields and a public park. A “golf entertainment facility” rounds off the redevelopment that is likely to cost in the region of £1 billion.

However not everyone is happy about the proposals. “Questions remain about whether Miami would be getting a good deal under the proposed lease terms,” says the Miami Herald.

Three out of five of the city commissioners need to approve the proposal ahead of a possible referendum. So far commissioners Willy Gort, Manolo Reyes and Ken Russell are all in the no camp, and the vote has been deferred until next Wednesday.

More information requested

Russell has asked for more information. In addition, he asked for a $15 dollar minimum wage for anyone working on the project, alongside a share in profits and absolving the city of any costs for cleaning up the property. “This is Miami, we always put the cart before the horse,” he said. “We’ve got to learn to get things right and use the process. Our residents who have been so angry these past few weeks while this has been happening, they do it with reason. They’re doing so because they’re sceptical of our past. We’ve done a lot of bad deals in the past but we can do better.”

Mas said he can address Russell’s concerns. “I’m very confident we’ll be able to incorporate what commissioners want,” he said. “I think it was obvious that Commissioner Russell did not have a lot of the information on the issues that he brought up and addressed. I’d be happy to address it.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez believes the proposal could benefit the city and wants it to go to a public referendum. “You have a project where the team is doing just about everything they could possibly do,” he said. “Ultimately all I want is the owners of the property, Miami city residents which are my bosses, to make the final decision. Not anyone else.”

However PGA pro Eric Compton is deeply opposed to the plan. “This is not about golf, this is not about soccer, it’s about big money and greed,” he told the commissioners.

There have been arguments that the stadium, hotel and office complex will simply benefit Beckham and Mas, rather than providing a real resource for Miami residents. Some talked about the First Tee golf programme which helps 15,000 children a year, often at low or no cost. However others counter-argued that the project would broaden the appeal of the site.

Football attractions on the rise

Football is being increasingly linked with attractions.

In September 2017, Lai Sun Group have announced a collaboration with football club Real Madrid Club de Fútbol to create an indoor interactive football experience centre in Hengqin, China.

A month later, Parques Reunidos announced a partnership with FC Barcelona to open a series of branded leisure and entertainment centres.

Image: Miami Freedom LLC

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