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Beckham Group Submits Proposed Lease To Miami

An updated rendering of Miami Freedom Park.

David Beckham's plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium and install a team in South Florida is getting closer to reality, as his partners in the proposed Miami Freedom Park project submitted a draft lease agreement to the city of Miami Wednesday.

Voters last November gave the OK for the city to negotiate a no-bid contract exclusively with the Beckham group to build on the city-owned Melreese golf course. The group has proposed a $1B complex with retail, offices and hotel rooms in addition to a 25,000-seat stadium. In addition, the group is rebuilding a stadium in Fort Lauderdale for its training and other operations. 

“We look forward to working with the City of Miami to finalize the voter-approved, fair-market-value lease agreement that provides residents with an expansive public park, 11,000 construction jobs, 2,300 permanent jobs and more than $40M in tax revenue, while using zero city taxpayer dollars,” Jorge Mas, managing owner of Inter Miami CF, said in a statement. He invited residents to visit a new website to learn more and give feedback.

According to a term sheet, the team would pay no less than $3.6M a year, and equal or greater to the "fair market value of the leased premises" or 5% of the total rent.

Other details highlighted by Miami Freedom Park include:

  • The creation of a 58-acre public park and 11 soccer fields.
  • Payment of the full cost of remediation of the property to permit for public use of the park.
  • The construction of Inter Miami CF’s home stadium, entertainment and retail space, office tech hub and hotel at no cost to city taxpayers.
  • Living-wage salary for employees.
  • A commitment to complete creation of the public park at the same time or prior to completing construction of the stadium.

Critics have referred to the Beckham group's plans as #Melfleece, arguing that the land is undervalued and the plan amounts to a giveaway for Mas and his construction company, MasTec — especially if the stadium hosts only home games while other operations are in Fort Lauderdale.

Developer Jorge Perez of Related Group said last year that rent should be more like $12M.

"It is bad enough turning the little open space we have left for the gain of a few wealthy individuals, but to give it away for a ridiculous sum is unconscionable." 

At press time, interested parties were discussing the terms on Twitter: