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David Beckham facing £41m bill over toxic arsenic levels on new Inter Miami stadium site

The former England captain is preparing for his Inter Miami side's first season in the MLS.

But according to the Miami Herald, his plans for an £800m stadium and commercial complex have hit a snare.

An environmental report found arsenic contamination reaching more than twice the legal limit and hazardous debris in surface-level soil samples at the Melreese golf course.

The 131-acre site has been used by golfers for more than 50 years but has been identified by Becks and his comrades as the place for Inter Miami's long-term home.

According to the consultant's report, the pollution underneath the grass on the golf course was caused by contaminated ash from a municipal incinerator shut down long ago. In some spots, the contamination is near the surface, as shallow as 15cm deep.

The shocking findings - far worse than expected - were reported on Monday to city commissioners.

Commission Chairman Ken Russell said: "This is the largest contaminated park in the city's portfolio. This is a concern."

Environmental firm EE&G, hired by Inter Miami, took more than 140 soil samples over the last few months. As well as the arsenic, it found barium and lead levels above legal limits.

EE&G concluded: "The debris included fragments of tile, metal and glass, mixed with fine-grain sands, which often exhibited a rusty colour.

"Intermittent wood fragments were encountered along with concrete and other non-native materials, but not evidence of municipal garbage."

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is pleased the site was tested and insists the city has chosen another consulting firm, AECOM, to conduct its own tests. The firm will also be paid by Inter Miami.

Suarez said: "Basically, the site has significantly more contamination than what is commercially reasonable."

It means the cost of the clean-up could be as much as £41m but it is unclear whether that will change Beckham's plans to use the site for their new home. Inter Miami said it would not seek city dollars to pay for the clean-up.

The environmental concerns come as the city negotiates a 99-year lease for a commercial complex that would allow a 25,000-seat stadium, office park, a shopping centre and football fields on the roof of a parking structure.

Inter Miami's lawyers are expecting to propose a lease on September 12, and the terms would need the approval of four out of five commissioners.

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