David Beckham and the Miami Beckham United group are still seeking an additional partner while planning to wrap everything up by June before an MLS vote of approval, but there's one item still lurking: parking.
With no garage planned and the closest five blocks out, the hope is either most fans will take public transit via the Miami Metrorail to Culmer Station or park on the street nearby. Miami's mayor remains concerned, via the Miami Herald, while a Miami Beckham United spokesman gave his take on the parking situation.
Miami mayor Tomas Regalado is skeptical: "I really don’t know how you could possibly walk from Culmer. I think it’s too far."
It's not that Culmer is too far, as it's only three blocks and change. The main issues are convenience -- the Metrorail is rarely a Miamian's most efficient transportation source -- and safety.
Tadd Schwartz, spokeman for Miami Beckham United, explained the group's position on parking, and where things stand, thusly:
"... One topic that has sparked discussion is that we are building a stadium without parking. The fact is, Miami is becoming an increasingly urban city and soccer is an inherently urban sport in markets around the world, so an MLS stadium in the urban core is a natural fit. Our stadium will be within walking distance of downtown Miami, the Metrorail system and the Miami River District, providing our fans multiple ways to arrive and plenty of restaurants and bars where they can spend time before and after matches.
"You only have to look back to the glory days of the Orange Bowl for an example of a stadium plan that thrived without parking -- and our stadium will be less than half the size of the Orange Bowl.
"Our site is just three blocks away from the Culmer Metrorail station and within a 10 minute walk of 7,000 parking spaces. We're also a short walk away from All Aboard Florida's new central station, which will provide access to Tri Rail, Metrorail and the new Brightline. We’re also exploring new transportation methods, such as parking shuttles on game days and water taxis that will arrive on the Miami River."
What Regalado and Schwartz also fail to address is the Overtown area isn't exactly the safest of neighborhoods in South Florida to be walking around, especially late at night after games.
While I don't think the stadium needs a massive parking infrastructure, it certainly needs something more than what's planned today. Their best course of action is to limit the reasons for people not to go. Right now parking remains one of them.