Talks surrounding a stadium and commercial complex for MLS expansion club Inter Miami have been "blocked because of an ethics complaint over improper lobbying by the team’s owners" just a day after voters "opened the door for the city to negotiate a deal," according to Joey Flechas of the MIAMI HERALD. City Attorney Victoria Mendez in an email yesterday "instructed city commissioners and employees not to take any meetings or phone calls from officials from the team ... until the county ethics board resolves a complaint filed last week." Attorney David Winker in the complaint "claimed that team owners failed to register as lobbyists before urging commissioners to place their plan on the November ballot." Beckham and his team's partners, Jorge and Jose Mas, met with Mayor Francis Suarez, City Manager Emilio Gonzalez and city commissioners "over several weeks during the summer leading up to two public meetings where commissioners weighed ... sending the plan to a referendum." About 60% of voters "endorsed the preliminary terms of a deal to lease 73 acres of Melreese golf course, Miami’s only city-owned golf course, to Inter Miami’s owners to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium, 1 million square feet of retail, office and commercial space, 750 hotel rooms and about 20 acres of soccer fields" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/8).
Groundbreaking for the renovation of Arizona State's Wells Fargo Arena and "construction of an adjacent hockey/multi-purpose arena" could take place next fall, according to Jeff Metcalfe of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. ASU AD Ray Anderson said that the projects, which will be done simultaneously, "would then be completed" in fall '21. Anderson said of a groundbreaking, "My preference is third quarter of 2019. I’m not the only one who has a decision in this, but I’m pushing toward that and I have confidence we’ll get that done." Anderson reaffirmed that men's and women's basketball and other teams currently using Wells Fargo Arena "will not be displaced during renovation of the 14,000-seat arena." Metcalfe notes the arena's seating capacity "will be reduced to a total yet to be finalized." Meanwhile, the hockey arena, to be built on the east side of Wells Fargo Arena, "will seat approximately 5,000 and also be home for gymnastics and wrestling" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/8).
DEVILS MAY CARE: In Phoenix, Brandon Brown noted ASU earlier this year unveiled its $307M renovation to Sun Devil Stadium, but since the football team only plays less than eight home games a year, there is a "feeling on campus the stadium needs to offer students, faculty and the broader metro Phoenix community more." ASU has "booked concerts at the stadium, but created smaller venues on its beer garden area called the Coca-Cola Sun Deck, where it also has held yoga classes." ASU 365 Community Union GM Victor Hamburger said that there are "more conventional ideas, such as using suites for meeting or conference spaces ... but those same spaces can be used to create a nightclub feel." He added that a number of businesses have "booked space in Sun Devil Stadium for holiday parties." ASU also has "shown a number of films on the big screen in the north end zone" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/7).