Inside David Beckham’s $1bn new Inter Miami stadium to house Lionel Messi

With the iconic Lionel Messi set to arrive at Inter Miami next month, it is clear that David Beckham’s franchise is now on an upwards trajectory despite their on pitch toils.

The decision of the World Cup winner to spurn a potential switch back to former club Barcelona as well as the riches of the Saudi Pro League did catch some by surprise but plans are in place to transform the Sunshine State club in the coming years. For the time being, the Herons’ players will be tasked with arresting the slide following an alarming losing run which has left them bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference.

However, the 35-year-old’s addition to the struggling outfit’s roster could well have a galvanising effect in the coming months and supporters will be hoping they can put the woes of recent times behind them. From a long-term perspective, the future does certainly look bright, with a $1 billion stadium also in the works and set to open in 2025.

Off the pitch, the ambition of the South Beach club is abundantly obvious, with plans for a dedicated area of the city in place which will provide 58 acres of public parks and green space, a tech hub, restaurants and shops, community pitches, a 25,000 new ground for Inter Miami.

The Miami Freedom Park project will become the biggest park in the coastal city and will be privately funded in its entirety. On top of this, the scheme has already gained approval from the city’s residents, with the Miami City Council having already voted to allow Inter Miami a 99-year lease for the site itself.

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In March 2023, the Melreese Golf Course — which currently occupies the side — announced it was shutting to make way for the project, which will be built across 73 acres. The scheme would also mean that the club leaves behind its 18,000 seater temporary stadium DRV PNK, where it has played since 2020.

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Currently both the senior team and the club’s second string turn out at the stadium, which broke ground in 2019 and cost Beckham and his partners an estimated $60 million to build. The Inter Miami youth academy also is in operation there for ages U-12 to U-17, forming part of the MLS NEXT program.

Prior to Messi’s announcement of his impending move, Inter Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman expressed the opinion that the club was not yet set up for superstar’s arrival from an infrastructural point of view. He told ESPN : “I personally think that this club is not ready for Messi’s arrival.

“We have a temporary stadium, people can just walk on the pitch, there are no gates. We also leave for the stadium without security. I think they aren’t ready.”