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Rendering of what Miami Beckham United's new stadium may look like.

Miami Beckham United (MBU) announced last week that the group has purchased land needed to build a stadium for a prospective MLS expansion team in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, reports Major League Soccer.

MBU partner Marcelo Claure announced the news on Twitter and the group also issued a statement.

We have the right site, the right ownership group, and a loyal base of fans counting down the days until our first match. We’re all-in on Overtown, and we couldn’t be more excited about moving forward with plans to deliver the most responsible stadium in Miami history.

The land acquired consists of two private properties with a size of approximately six acres, representing two-thirds of the projected nine-acre site, according to a Miami Herald report.

The move now opens the door for MBU to hold discussions with county officials regarding the “purchase of adjacent land required for development, now controlled by Miami-Dade County.” Once the acquisition of the government-owned land is complete, MBU will seek city zoning approval for its development plans before construction can begin.

In the meantime, the group has held informational meetings about the project with members of the Overtown community.

Situated midway between Miami Beach and Miami International Airport, the stadium site is located in the Miami River District and just blocks away from downtown Miami. Public transportation options will include a Metrorail station and an “All Aboard Florida” rail terminal, both within walking distance.

Major League Soccer (MLS) owners gave support for former England captain David Beckham’s proposed Miami franchise on Saturday, a day after the team’s owners said they had secured a site for a stadium.

The Miami Beckham United bid said on Friday they had found land to build their proposed stadium in the Overtown neighbourhood, close to transport links.

The MLS Board of Governors, who met on Saturday, gave tacit approval to the Miami team joining the League, with it planning to expand to 24 teams by 2020.

MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, said in a statement on Saturday:

We are very supportive of Miami Beckham United’s plans to build a soccer stadium in the City of Miami’s Overtown neighbourhood.

Their vision for a world-class venue within the urban core that is accessible by mass transportation is impressive, and we believe it will be an important part of the continued revitalisation of the area.

We look forward to working with David and his partners to finalise plans to bring Major League Soccer to Miami.

Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minnesota are joining the League in the next three years. Miami were “one step closer” of becoming the 24th team, MLS said.

MLS, however, opened a further avenue for Beckham’s consortium if they are unable to meet the 2020 expansion plans, with a desire to further expand the league to 28 teams.

Garber said:

There is no shortage of demand for MLS expansion teams and we believe the opportunity exists to grow beyond our current plans.

We will evaluate how to grow the league to 28 teams and establish a process and timeline for future expansion.

Possible markets for further teams include St. Louis, San Antonio, Detroit, San Diego and Sacramento, who already have stadium plans and investors in place.

 

(Reporting by Reuters’ Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Image courtesy: www.sportskeeda.com

Continuing the development process of its future Major League Soccer (MLS) home, Minnesota United FC announced Populous as the lead architect for the new soccer stadium at the Snelling and I-94 site, generally known as the ‘Midway’. Populous has worked on many of the top sports facilities – from training venues to Olympic stadiums – throughout the world.

Nick Rogers, President of Minnesota United FC, said:

We are very pleased to formalise our relationship with Populous, a global leader in stadium design. We have been having conversations with Bruce Miller and his team over the past two years, and have every confidence that they are the right group to help us realise our vision of a world-class soccer stadium in the Twin Cities.

The Kansas City-based sports architecture firm – recognised for its focus on environmentally-sustainable projects – is a world leader in stadium design and event-based projects. Populous has created world-class soccer stadiums for top-tier clubs throughout the world, including Sporting KC (USA), Olympique Lyonnais (France), Tottenham Hotspur (UK), Arsenal (UK), C.F. Monterrey (Mexico), and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Stadium in Johannesburg.

Populous was the lead architect on local several local stadium projects – including Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium – which have received national recognition for enhancing sporting events by creating environments that draw people and communities together. Some of their other impressive projects include Wimbledon’s Main Stadium, the stadiums for the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Olympic Games, the new Yankee Stadium in New York City, as well as renovation projects for Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, Camden Yards in Baltimore and Wembley Stadium in London.

Bruce Miller, Senior Principal at Populous and lead architect for Minnesota United’s new stadium, said:

It’s an honour to have the opportunity to design another memorable sports experience for the Twin Cities. Major League Soccer has found a great home in St. Paul and our design team is excited about the opportunities to create a mixed-use entertainment destination that will thrive year-round.  The site’s central location, access to public transit and exposure on I-94 make it a model site for a Major League Soccer venue. As a building block in growing the Minnesota United brand, the stadium will become the heart and soul of soccer in the northern Midwest.

In addition to the state-of-the-art completed projects, Populous is currently in the process of designing the new stadium for Orlando City SC (MLS).

Minnesota United was awarded an MLS franchise earlier this year in a highly competitive process that put Minneapolis – St. Paul ahead of other major markets in the United States. The club later announced its commitment to building a new, privately-financed soccer stadium at the Snelling-Midway site in St. Paul. The Stadium is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.

Further information about United’s future home can be accessed by visiting newstpaulstadium.com.