CARSON (CNS) – A statue of retired soccer star David Beckham will be unveiled today outside Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson in connection with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s season opener.
The 3 p.m. statue ceremony will be preceded at 2:30 p.m. by the unveiling of Legends Plaza, a revamped plaza outside the stadium’s gates that will be home to a series of statues, beginning with the one honoring Beckham.
Fans are encouraged to arrive by 2 p.m.
Beckham will be joined in speaking at the ceremony by Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, retired Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, team president Chris Klein and Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean.
The ceremony will be hosted by Fox sportscaster Rob Stone.
“The LA Galaxy are a very special club to me, so to receive this honor is incredible and very humbling,” Beckham said last month when the team announced it would unveil a statue of him.
“Personally, I will always be eternally grateful for the amazing welcome the club, the fans and the city of Los Angeles gave me and my family from the minute we first arrived. My time playing and the friends we made during that period are so important to me. Los Angeles, in so many ways, will always feel like a home to us.
“The LA Galaxy is a club whose leaders and fans have done so much for soccer in the USA, so to be part of this club’s great history is a privilege and something that makes me and my family very proud.”
Beckham is the first MLS player to be honored by his team with a statue. The statue was created by the husband-and-wife team of Julie and Omri Amrany, who created the statues outside of Staples Center.
Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 as the biggest signing in the history of MLS, which began play in 1996. He played with the Galaxy through 2012, helping lead them to MLS Cup titles in both of his final two seasons.
When the British star midfielder signed with the Galaxy, he said he would be facing one of the biggest challenges of his career, trying to boost the popularity of the sport in a nation where it had long been met with a combination of apathy and derision.
“In my time here, I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year,” Beckham said in 2012. “I’ve been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I’ve had from fans in L.A. and across the States.
“Soccer’s potential has no limits in this wonderful country and I want to always be part of growing it.”
Beckham is part of the group that owns Inter Miami CF, an MLS expansion team set to begin play in 2020.
Beckham will be inducted into the Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at halftime of today’s opener against the Chicago Fire.
The statue unveiling comes one day after the unveiling of Beckham Community Field at The Salvation Army Red Shield Youth and Community Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Legends Plaza will see the stadium’s main entrance become a hub for fans at all Galaxy game days.
Located at the top of the main entrance, Legends Plaza will feature open areas for seating as well as an outdoor LED screen for live events and watch parties.
“Legends Plaza adds tremendous energy to the stadium atmosphere that we’ve built with the LA Galaxy,” said Dignity Health Sports Park general manager Katie Pandolfo.