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May 22, 2014

New stadium proposal for Miami

After plans to build a stadium at PortMiami were ruled out, David Beckham's MLS Miami ownership group recommended a new bayside site for the Major League Soccer expansion team that will be owned by the former English national team captain.

The new bayside proposal calls for the filling in of a the Florida East Coast railway deep-water boat slip that sits next to the home of the NBA's Miami Heat. The estimated $20 million project would also increase the overall size of adjacent Museum Park by 4.3 acres. The group plans to seek state assistance for the project but will not call on city or county funds, according to the Miami Herald report.

The group released sketches of the proposed project on Thursday.

"By expanding Museum Park with new public spaces anchored by world-class art and science museums and a world-class soccer club, we'll be activating the waterfront on a year-round basis," Beckham said in a statement.

The plan calls for the remaining filled land along the bay to be turned into a leg of the park, connecting south to the publicly owned property known as Parcel B behind the arena. That parcel, now used as a staging area for arena events, would also become parkland, according to the report.

The city of Miami owns the slip and Museum Park and Miami-Dade county owns Parcel B. For a stadium to be built, the two would have to agree to property tax issues. The matter would also likely come before Miami voters in November.

Beckham's group originally hoped to build at PortMiami, but on Tuesday, Miami-Dade County commissioners nixed the location.

The PortMiami proposal called for an open-air stadium with views of the bay and the downtown skyline.

"Our plans to transform the FEC slip and Parcel B into soccer grounds and a public park will give Miami fans a chance to experience the thrill of the sport right in the heart of downtown," Miami Beckham United investor Marcelo Claure said in a statement.

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