David Beckham. A style icon and - let's be honest - one of the most handsome men on the planet.
The former England captain knows a thing or two about look and design. We've worn his underpants, drank his whisky and sighed at the disappointment of another of his shower gel sets for Christmas. But now, as one of the owners of Inter Miami CF, we finally get to see what a David Beckham stadium looks like.
Unsurprisingly, like everything the man does, it's impressive. Very impressive.
The hype surrounding Beckham’s new franchise has been steadily building over the past few years and these impressive plans have only increased the interest surrounding the Miami club. Although the club will enter into the MLS next year, the new stadium complex is expected to be completed in 2022, at the eye-watering cost of $966m (£750m). So what does almost a billion dollars get you in the Sunshine State?
Well at the heart of the plans is the main feature - a state of the art 26,000 seater stadium which will be the new home of Beckham’s side. The glamorous arena will boast fashionable flourishes such as a rooftop bar and palm trees on the roof and will sit in a 58-acre park, which will be open to the community.
The giant green space will be named ‘Miami Freedom Park’ and provide a rare peaceful place for residents of the sixth most densely populated city in the United States. The slight delay in the construction of Miami Freedom Park is due to the fact that arsenic contamination was found reaching twice the legal limit at the Melreese golf course, where the stadium is being built, despite the fact golfers have played at the site for over half a century.
“Organised chaos,” Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough told press of the new stadium. “But we’ll be ready.”
Until the completion of this area, Inter Miami will play at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, a ground that is being reconstructed for the club’s MLS bow. This is the stadium that Miami Fusion competed in the MLS from 1998-2001 before poor attendances and a lack of income forced the club to fold.
The site developers still face a race against time to rebuild the Lockhart Stadium, which has not been fit for use ever since the Fort Lauderdale Strikers left in 2016. There are currently 225 workers on the site at any given time, with work happening for twelve hours a day, seven days a week in a bid to get the stadium ready for the MLS season, which begins in February.
The newly built Lockhart Stadium will not go to waste once Inter Miami CF move into their world-class venue, and will instead be used as a training complex, but the club are heavily investing into the local area. With the start of the MLS season now just a matter of months away, the club still has an awful lot of work to do.
Off the pitch, they have to complete work on one stadium while overcoming hurdles on plans for another, while on the pitch they are starting completely from scratch. They have no manager and no players but there has been the almost constant talk of a marquee name joining the club over the next couple of seasons.
The story of this football club is simply gripping and to see rise from nothing as we are seeing all over the USA is a testament to the work that has gone into the club. They will be hoping to follow the lead of Atlanta United, who won the MLS Cup in just their second season after launching. This development of this world-class venue is just another example of the world’s most popular sport continuing to grow across the pond.