SBD/May 15, 2014/Facilities

Referendum Appears Increasingly Likely For Beckham's Proposed Miami MLS Stadium

A ballot question would push back the deadline set by Beckham’s group
The longer David Beckham and his investors "spend scouting publicly owned sites" for a potential MLS stadium in Miami, the "more it looks like the group will have to go to at least some voters for eventual approval," according to Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said that the city "will require a referendum if Beckham’s group settles on filling and then building on a city-owned deep-water basin, known as the Florida East Coast Railway slip, along Biscayne Boulevard." However, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez yesterday added a "new wrinkle." He said that the county "could also seek voter approval if Miami Beckham United asks to build on PortMiami’s southwest corner -- even though a referendum would not be required for the county-owned property." A ballot question "would push back the deadline set by Beckham’s group, which had hoped to have a stadium plan in place this summer to present to MLS." Regalado and Gimenez said that the earliest a referendum "would take place is in August, with November a more likely possibility." Beckham's group -- "perhaps resigned to South Florida’s prickly stadium politics -- appears warm to the referendum idea." Real estate firm HR&A Advisors Chair John Alschuler, who reps Beckham, said, "The ultimate decision to build a stadium in downtown Miami should rest with voters" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/15). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis writes although "not seeking public money from the city or the county, Beckham is discovering there is no easy path to building a stadium in South Florida, particularly in the wake of controversial funding for Marlins Park and failed attempts" by the Dolphins to fund stadium renovations (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/15).
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