Beckham’s Inter Miami project is to be applauded but stadium is still a huge issue

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DAVID BECKHAM finally has his Inter Miami franchise up and running, well, sort of — SIX YEARS after the plans were first mooted.

Becks has been through some tough times and the stress of it all may have triggered a dozen more tattoos to his painted pecs . . . if he can find any room.

David Beckham should be praised for his efforts in helping to set up Inter Miami but faces a tough couple of years as they will first play at Fort Lauderdale
Ex-England skipper David Beckham should be praised for his efforts in helping to set up Inter Miami but faces a tough couple of years as they will first play at Fort Lauderdale

But Miami are now set and ready to roll. Again, sort of.

Firstly, his Miami will play their first two seasons 30 miles away in Fort Lauderdale — the same distance between Manchester and Liverpool.

Now I don’t know what the rivalry is like between Lauderdale-ites and regular folk of Miami, where it was obligatory in the 1980s to wear shiny suits with no shirt on underneath — courtesy of Don Johnson’s hit show.

But I just can’t see that idea being a winner.

The Fort Lauderdale site is at the current Lockhart Stadium, which used to house the now defunct Fort Lauderdale Strikers and then the Miami Fusion.

Again, I’m unsure about the wisdom of building on a ground which has already been used for soccer in America . . . and failed.

Surely it sends entirely the wrong message to those hoping for a brave new world under Becks.

How it might map out for David Beckham and the new Inter Miami team
How it might map out for David Beckham and the new Inter Miami team

After those two seasons at Fort Lauderdale, the club will move to a purpose-built, 25,000-seater stadium in, yes, actual Miami.

But planning permission is still needed for that, at a site which currently houses toxic waste and a golf course.

So if your ball goes off the fairway and into the rough, may I suggest you leave it there. Overall cost for the Fort Lauderdale project — or phase one, as an expensive architect would call it — is around £45million.

That is just a drop in the ocean for Becks’ business partner Jorge Mas, who must have a massive hole burning in his billionaire wallet.

We at West Ham know all about starting a new stadium venture — and it is fair to say there will be a few bumps and bruises for Becks along the way.

I hope I’m not sounding overly cynical, but the omens aren’t necessarily great. So good luck to Becks as he bids to bend this one top corner — just like his famous free-kick against Greece.

If he does pull it off, maybe Victoria might even flash a smile one of these days.


As for the MLS, Beckham says he will try to lure the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to finish their careers Stateside — following the likes of Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

I’ve got no problems with that, but again it reinforces the belief that the MLS is a pre-retirement home for ex-European and South American stars.

Becks’ vision for his Miami team is certainly to be congratulated, but others have tried to turn America on to the beautiful game and been found wanting.

Added to that, Miami already has major league teams in American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey — and all will be vying for their share of the action.

But Miami has the world’s biggest cruise port, which means a lot of potential footie fans.

Becks was dubbed Goldenballs as a player. Now does he have the Midas touch as a business leader?

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