Miami's MLS Stadium Talks Hit Road Block Over Ethics Complaint
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).