SBD/June 11, 2014/Facilities

Beckham's MLS Stadium Hopes Dealt Another Blow After Miami Takes Favored Site Off Table

The city of Miami yesterday told David Beckham's group that it "cannot build" an MLS stadium on a deep-water boat slip in downtown near AmericanAirlines Arena, according to a front-page piece by Patricia Mazzei of the MIAMI HERALD. Mayor Tomás Regalado and City Manager Daniel Alfonso "told Beckham’s group thanks but no thanks" after Beckham's real-estate adviser John Alschuler offered the city $2M annually "in rent of sorts to make a deal." Alschuler said that Beckham's group "plans to take some time to consider its remaining options in light of the sudden setback." City and county leaders reiterated that they "want Beckham’s expansion franchise in Miami," but the decision "marked the second blow for the retired English footballer and his investors, who had initially targeted the county-owned southwest corner of PortMiami as a stadium site -- only to face political resistance from neighboring Royal Caribbean Cruises and the county commission." Talks with the Univ. of Miami to share a downtown stadium with its football team "recently broke down." Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a statement said that he "remains a supporter of bringing MLS to Miami as long as a franchise doesn’t seek county tax money for stadium construction." The Miami city commission, which meets tomorrow, "could in theory overrule Regalado and direct the city manager to re-engage with Beckham’s group over the site, but that appears unlikely." Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who represents the downtown district, said that he "told Beckham in person Saturday that he could not support the location" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/11).
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