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Thirteen local officials join group opposed to soccer stadium at PortMiami

PortMiami (Getty Images)

By DAN KARELL

The opposition group to David Beckham’s proposed stadium on land at the Port of Miami is continuing to grow.

Thirteen local mayors and vice-mayors in Miami-Dade County have signed a letter to join the Miami Seaport Alliance, a group that opposes Beckham’s plan to build a soccer-specific stadium on the southwest corner of PortMiami. Led by president John Fox, the Miami Seaport Alliance includes Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the Florida Foreign Trade Association and the Latin American Business Association.

“The alliance is pleased to welcome these 13 mayors and vice mayors to our expanding list of members. These community leaders have identified that a port stadium could put our county’s second-largest economic engine at risk and we look forward to working with them to ensure the long-term success of PortMiami,” Fox said.

On April 25, the Miami Seaport Alliance announced that they have begun an advertising campaign on TV, Radio, and the web that focuses on “presenting key facts about the proposed soccer stadium at PortMiami.”

“These mayors and vice mayors join me in opposition to a stadium at PortMiami because of the risks it would pose to jobs, security, and cruise and cargo operations,” Town of Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall said. “As community leaders, we look forward to advocating with our fellow alliance members for port property to be used only for port-related development.”

This news is certainly not positive for Beckham and his potential MLS ownership group, though it’s not necessarily a huge blow to their stadium search.

Beckham and his representatives are still locked in negotiations over a stadium site with Miami mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration and both Gimenez and Beckham’s representatives have said that opposition to the proposed stadium is “premature” without any specifics in place, according to the Miami Herald.

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What do you think of this news? Do you see Beckham considering another site? Think it’s premature for there to be opposition?

Share your thoughts below.

40 comments
    • Drew11

      Nope. Waterfront stadiums are not popular. Didn’t happen in VAN. Didn’t happen in San Francisco (NBA). And won’t happen in MIA. Time to look for a more realistic spot for the stadium.

      Like

      • MLSsnob

        PacBell or Giants stadium or whatever they’re calling it these days, also on the water.

        Like

      • jcr

        Corruption is very much a possibility as organizations such as Carnival Cruise lines, the local union paying these small local mayors, the mayor of Miami Beach having a media company that works exclusively with Carnival Cruise lines, not having an effect. There should be a good open discussion with the public to see what they want with all the facts in front of them. Unfortunately, the facts may not be clearly heard because of these other voices trying to drown out the discussion.

        Like

      • bottlcaps

        Beg to differ, Waterfront stadiums are extremely popular with fans. They are, though, extremely expensive, as waterfront/seafront/beachfront property is extremely expensive, so not as desirable with owners and management UNLESS, of course, it is industrial land, which for seafront propert in relatively inexpensive. The main drawback with any stadium close to a waterfront, is ingress/egress/parking. On a big stadium (50,000+) this can be overwhelming, and costly with infrastructure costs hence, the lack of a large amount of Stadiums close to water. MLS stadia though are generally less than 30,000 and as such, are more manageable.

        Beckhams people have the right formula, a small stadium, on idustrial land close to the seafront. But anytime you have another use going into a established use area, you will have a battle for development rights.

        Like

      • DCLee

        +1 Perfectly said!

        PPL Park & RFK Stadium(Anacostia) are 2 MLS stadiums on the water.

        Like

      • BL

        Hmmm…funny that if you are actually standing on the proposed site, you can look across the bay and see the American Airlines Arena (home of the Heat) on the shoreline.

        Like

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

      Just because you don’t get what you want doesn’t make the people against this stadium corrupt. There are a number of factors at play here that none of us would really know about.
      Is it possible they think that land could be used for something that will benefit their constituents more than a soccer stadium? Noooo they must be corrupt…..

      Like

      • Ralph

        Wait, you think the two tourism trade associations (read: lobbying groups) for the multi-billion dollar cruise liners that are bringing these people in care about constituents?

        Really? I’ve got a bridge for you.

        Like

  • Ralph

    Free market! Free market! Free market! Down with regulations! Wait, they want to build a stadium where? Regulate them! Regulate them! They can’t do that!

    Nothing but the most foul, lying hypocrites in this country. Not surprising for companies that let thousands of people fall ill with vicious diseases in the name of profit on the regular.

    Like

    • MN Footie

      Could you expound a bit more on the “companies that let thousands of people fall ill with vicious diseases in the name of profit on the regular”? Not sure I follow you there. But I know precisely nothing about the Miami Seaport Alliance, apart from what’s in this story.

      It does seem that you’re painting with strokes that are a bit too broad, though.

      Like

      • Ralph

        The cruise organizations use huge loopholes they’ve lobbied for to get around sanitation and health regulations on their ships.

        Like

      • MN Footie

        So what you’re saying is that big businesses love to fight for free markets until they feel threatened by competition. So they turn to government to help them fight competitors.

        Yep, story checks out.

        Like

  • Jay Boca

    Why not have the team based in the Bahamas? They would have no problem getting a stadium built and players would love to live there.

    Like

      • Conchy Joe

        I loved living on Grand Bahama Island. Don’t know why anyone wouldn’t love it. Great people, great weather, and close enough to Florida to visit without actually having to live in Florida.

        Like

      • MLSsnob

        You lived in Freeport? I was just there, no offense, that place is a dump.

        Like

    • MN Footie

      You know what city has alot in common with Miami???

      Minneapolis!!!

      They both start with the letter M, they both have lots of people, and they both… um… are cities… located in States… within the United States!!!

      Make it happen, David!!!

      Like

    • The Imperative Voice

      I think Beckham should punt on PortMiami and keep his power dry for approval of a more suitable and less controversial site. You don’t want to fight about this forever and get a negative public image and a bunch of sworn political enemies. Even if you mean well and are caught up in unfair politics.

      One of the problems with handing this to Beckham in this way is they have no stadium setup in a poor choice town to begin with. If they try to move it elsewhere the locale may want their own ownership group. And I’ve said my piece a jillion times about how much it makes sense to be trying to buy land after the franchise award when the seller sees you coming and gets dollar signs in their eyes.

      Like

      • Slowreno

        Becks should look elsewhere, maybe buy LA2 aka Chivas, re-brand, get a new stadium in place downtown and then the inter-city rivalry would really heat up. What a story line that would be, ex-Gal Beckham vs. the Galaxy. Not sure Garber would let it happen though. Even though this would have an impact on the SE rivalry with ATL & OC, if they’re going to have to deal with this ridiculousness with Port of Miami and that many local politicians signing up, why bother with Miami-Dade county?

        Like

  • Mikebsiu

    This is already greeting off on the wrong foot. Miami will be lucky to get more than 10k fans.

    Like

    • solles

      st louis has lots to do to prove themselves, you cant just skate by on tyour history in the game. wheres your owner, where could a stadium go, where is your fanbase already supporting a lower league club.

      Like

  • Nick in LA

    So there are 13 more hands out there looking for money. I am totally shocked and never thought this would happen in a fine, upstanding city like Miami.

    Like

  • Travis

    Get out of Miami. Getting anywhere around down there is a mess. The team should be in Broward or Palm Beach County. Current stadiums that could work temporarily are Lockhart or FAU. The majority of their season ticket holders will most likely be non-Dade County anyway. And no one from those areas wants to drive to downtown Miami or further south.

    I fear that the “Miami” name will ruin them just as it has the Marlins.

    If they are looking for an area with a place for fans to party pre and post-game, maybe they can find some land near Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, or something similar, but smaller in other areas. South Florida has plenty of areas with clusters of restaraunts & bars.

    Like

    • John

      I can tell you live in Broward. I do too and I wouldn’t drive to downtown Miami for a weekday game either. Stadium should be by the Seminole Hard Rock.

      Like

    • Remy

      I used to live in Broward county and I can tell you that people from Broward or Palm Beach county would never go to downtown Miami, which is in Dade county. Miami is a crime-ridden city and the average income is way below that of Broward and Palm Beach. Beckham should forget about Miami all together and concentrate his efforts in Fort Lauderdale or somewhere else like St. Louis, MO.

      Like

    • Joamiq

      So, uh, do you know what happened to the last Miami team that didn’t actually play in Miami?

      Like

  • Pingback: Mainly Loud n Snarky April 30, 2014

  • Joamiq

    The only mayor who matters is Gimenez. Who cares how many irrelevant mayors from towns that are not Miami join the opposition group?

    Like

  • ACS

    Need to build where beachfront property is going to be in 50 years when the port is underwater.

    Like

  • solles

    see to me this could be all a part of the negotiating ploy… keep the eyes focused on portmiami as rthe stated #1 choice, all the while knowing it wont happen, and you can line up your real #1 choice out of the spotlight, make it seem like you were doing the city a favor, “oh ok we wont build on portmiami, we’ll settle for this other place instead”.

    it could be true.

    Like

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