"We cannot jeopardize well-paying jobs, like crane operators,
longshore workers, and mechanics, for low-paying stadium jobs, such
as concession sales," the Miami Seaport Alliance said in a full-page
ad that ran in the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language
paper, El Nuevo Herald.
The group, led by John Fox, who has retired as Royal Caribbean
Cruise Line's head of governmental affairs, includes two chapters of
the International Longshoremen's Association and two stevedore
companies, whose workers load and unload ships, along with car
dealer Norman Braman, the one-time owner of Philadelphia Eagles.
Beckham last month unveiled detailed plans for a 25,000-seat
waterfront stadium on the island port with sweeping views of
Development of the 36-acre (14.5-hectare) space would cost about
$200 million and include shops, hotels and offices connected to the
mainland by a pedestrian bridge.
"This is one of four sites under consideration, there's nothing
concrete, there's no recommendation pending," Miami-Dade Mayor
Carlos Gimenez said on Monday.
The port's master plan calls for the development of more than 7
million square feet (650,000 square meters) of convention, hotel and
office space on the same site.
Before Monday's ad, only Royal Caribbean, which is headquartered at
the port, has come out publicly against Beckham's plan.
"The plan doesn't interfere with port operations," said Neisen
Kasdin, an attorney for Akerman Senterfitt and adviser for the
Beckham group. "It will likely generate more revenue for the port in
the shorter term than other concepts that have been discussed."
Yet a growing list of opponents say a stadium would jeopardize
Miami's aspiration of becoming a more attractive choice for global
shippers looking to distribute goods to the U.S. market.
"There are plenty of other places for the stadium to be," Braman
said in a telephone interview.
[to top of second column]
Miami officials hope the port's short distance from the Panama
Canal, as well as $2 billion of planned infrastructure upgrades,
including cranes to unload the ships and a $1 billion tunnel
connecting the port to major highways, will increase its appeal.
Neither Braman nor Fox would say who paid for the two ads in
Monday's paper, worth nearly $25,000.
"I haven't given any dollars yet but I would if asked," Braman
Braman spent more than $1 million in 2009 to fight a Miami Marlins'
campaign to secure more than $600 million in public funding for a
new baseball stadium that opened in 2012.
In 2013, he spoke out against the ultimately failed quest by
billionaire real estate mogul and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross
to secure $200 million in public funds to help repair the team's
(Editing by Kevin Gray and Mohammad Zargham)
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