The Argument for a Soccer Stadium in OvertownMay 18, 2017 byAdmin
To be informed, one must always consider the source of what they are reading. In this case, it’s a blog article being published on a fan website for a Miami MLS Team. We have a clear bias for wanting a soccer stadium built in Overtown. But we are also city and county residents who are volunteering our services for Miami Beckham United. We want things to be done right and we care about our community. We have not publicly supported every decision made by MBU and we will continue to be the voice for local fans.
That being said, we do support the current site in Overtown and we do think it’s a good thing for Overtown, the City and County. Below are of the strongest arguments for the stadium.
Branding – This may seem like a subjective reason, but cities like Miami that rely heavily on tourism and foreign investment need an outward projection of their brand. Miami is an international city that’s diversity and opportunity spurs growth in every business sector. We want to be the capital of the Americas and a soccer team with an international icon as the owner is a very good thing. This stadium will help reinforce this brand for the City and help overcome negative associations with Miami that prohibit tourism and international business. This will benefit the City, County and Overtown Neighborhood.
Private Funding Sports Model – We are all tired of billionaires going to local governments with their hands out. That’s why it’s so amazing that Miami Beckham United will be the first ever fully 100% (can’t say 100% privately funded enough) privately funded sports team in Miami. They are proving it can be done. Once they get started, the other teams in Miami will have to give us a good reason as to why they need money from the local government.
Prevent Negative Development – Development in the Overtown Neighborhood is inevitable. Its proximity to Downtown Miami makes it too valuable not to invest. Neighborhoods like Overtown often fall victim to sharply increasing cost of living when projects (mainly condos, restaurants and malls) are built that directly increase cost of living. A stadium is not likely to increase cost of living and is built on enough land to prevent overdevelopment by condos, malls and restaurants.
Economics – The promise of economic benefit to Overtown shouldn’t be exaggerated. Often sports teams overpromise economic benefits in exchange for public funding and tax breaks. Miami Beckham United is 100% privately funded and will pay property taxes. What can be guaranteed is property tax payments and jobs. Miami Beckham United is under contract with Miami-Dade County to provide a benefits package to the community which includes a set amount of jobs, hiring practices and more. Commissioner Audrey Edmonson negotiated vigorously for this package and MBU will have to adhere to it.
Unity and Identity – Many of our members had the fortune of being born in this great city. We love this city. To love something is to know its flaws and love it anyways. We are a city with great diversity. That diversity creates disunity and makes it hard to have a strong identity. We’ve all seen the city come together in tragedy and in triumph, but after that we go back to “every man for themselves”. I’m not saying a team can unify such a diverse and complex city like Miami – but it can get us closer. Every time the whistle blows and the synchronized chanting of fans for 90+ minutes is aired on national television we will get closer and closer to our dream of being the Capital of the Americas.