sport

Beckham unveils stadium plans

David Beckham wants to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer franchise in the Port of Miami.

Beckham's team of architects looked at around 30 sites around the city, and recommended it be built by the sea. And the former England captain says he wants to work with those who may oppose the plan.

The plan, announced on Monday night, would have a 25,000-seat open-air stadium with views of the bay and the downtown skyline.

"Miami is all about the water, all about the culture," said Beckham. "I don't think people see that enough.

"Our stadium, our site is all about the skyline, it's all about the water - it opens up to that. And that's what we want people to see all around the world. It's the most important thing for us. I've been to the Miami Heat games, I've been around the area, I've seen the vibrant nature, I've seen the atmosphere - we want people to be part of that.

"There's always going to be snags along the way. There is going to be people who don't agree having the stadium in certain places.

"I'm here to work with those people. I'm not here to have direct conflict with them. I've said to everyone at the (NBA team Miami) Heat, I don't want to be an enemy of them.

"I don't want to be an enemy to those who oppose the stadium. I want to work with them."

Marlins Park, Florida International University (FIU) and a site near the city's airport remain under consideration for the team.

There is no set year for Beckham's franchise to begin playing but the earliest a new stadium could be built is 2018.

If Beckham wants to launch the franchise before then, they could play in a temporary home, such as Marlins Park - home of the Florida Marlins baseball franchise - or FIU.

Beckham said that whilst he and his investors will be pumping millions of their own money into the project, they would also be lobbying for public money.

"We will be funding the money ourselves, but as an organisation, we want to be treated like every other (sports franchise)," Beckham said. "We're not asking for anything more or anything less."

Beckham was asked if he could make it work without state funding.

"I don't think it would be fair to say we could or couldn't," he said. "We just want to be treated like every other franchise. It's not an ideal world, but this is what we would like to have happen."