Beckham and Co unveil Miami MLS stadium designs

David Beckham revealed design plans on Monday for a new state-of-the-art football stadium he hopes will be the eventual Miami waterfront home of his Major League Soccer franchise. The English football icon unveiled plans for the open-air stadium with a design that features a curving rooftop canopy that would protect up to 35,000 spectators from the elements but also have an open centre, providing bay front and skyline views.

"When people think of Miami, they immediately think about being near or on the water," the 38-year-old Beckham said during a news conference in downtown Miami on Monday. "I asked my team to develop ideas for a stadium that embraces the best of the destination. Even though we are in the early stages of building the franchise, I believe we have a vision that not only Miami would be proud of, but one that will resonate around the world."

The plans also call for an adjacent complex that would include a commercial development and a public plaza. But the centre piece would be the stadium with steep grandstands that provide sweeping views of the field and give fans the feeling of being on top of the action.

Beckham is hoping that by releasing some details of the proposed stadium that he can help drum up support for the project. The retired midfielder announced last month that he plans to build an MLS club from scratch in Miami. The former Manchester United and England player, together with an investment group that could yet include Miami Heat basketball icon LeBron James, is forking out a reported $25m for the ambitious franchise.

Beckham, who retired last year after a career that also took him to Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain, is banking on his star pulling power and growing prominence in the United States to create what he called a "global" team that can attract the best players in the world.

Beckham said by placing the stadium in the downtown waterfront area they can also find the same commercial success that the NBA Heat have enjoyed in Miami. "I see the atmosphere that goes on down there. I have been to Heat games," Beckham said Monday. "We want to be part of that."