A statue of retired soccer star David Beckham was unveiled Saturday outside Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson in connection with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s season opener.
“My biggest thanks is to the fans,” Beckham said. “When I first moved to L.A. people turned around to me and said `L.A. is a place where dreams come true.’ Well L.A., today a dream came true.”
The statute depicts Beckham about to kick a soccer ball with his right foot. The statue is clad in a white Galaxy jersey and shorts.
Beckham is the first Major League Soccer 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 was preceded in speaking at the 3 p.m. ceremony by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, former Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, retired Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, team president Chris Klein, Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of the Galaxy’s parent company AEG, and Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean.
A video from retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was played.
Beckham was inducted into the Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at halftime of their 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire in their season opener.
The ceremony followed the unveiling of Legends Plaza, a revamped plaza outside the stadium’s main entrance that will be home to a series of statues.
Legends Plaza is intended to be a pregame gathering place for Galaxy fans.
Located at the top of the main entrance, Legends Plaza features 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.
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.
Beckham is part of the group that owns Inter Miami CF, an MLS expansion team set to begin play in 2020 as the league grows to 26 teams. Nashville SC will also begin play in 2020. There were 13 teams in the league when Beckham began playing for the Galaxy in 2007.