Beckham, wearing a tailored dark suit, went door-to-door in
Miami-Dade lawmakers’ offices in downtown Miami throughout the
morning and afternoon, meeting with commissioners and posing for
Beckham's plan for a futuristic, waterfront stadium near the port of
Miami to house a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise has run
into resistance from a group led by Royal Caribbean Cruises, which
argues that it would interfere with cruise and cargo operations.
An alternative proposal offered by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez
this week would locate the stadium on another nearby downtown
waterfront site, currently a boatslip, sandwiched between an art
museum and the Miami Heat basketball arena.
“If they want to have a piece of property there ... they would have
to bear the cost of filling the slip in,” Gimenez said, pegging the
cost between $12 million and $18 million.
Gimenez said the land could be worth as much as $50 million.
"It's another option it gives us another location which has come out
of the blue," Beckham told reporters outside county hall on
"It's gone from having one great possible location to two. We’re
Beckham said he never expected a "smooth ride" getting stadium
approval. "Investors and I will be putting up a quarter of a billion
dollars ... we don't want to bring worries," he said.
Beckham along with his partners Simon Fuller, creator of American
Idol, and Bolivian-born billionaire Marcelo Claure, founder of
Miami-based Brightstar Corp, say they will pay the county tax and
rent. The group plans to privately finance the $250 million stadium
Beckham has yet to reveal who his investors are.
[to top of second column]
The mayor's alternative plan has already drawn the ire of several
critics, including former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and a handful of
former city commissioners who said the space should become parks and
plazas for the tens of thousands of downtown Miami residents now
living in the city’s high rises that once sat empty following the
city and nation’s real estate collapse.
“Miami has become one of the world’s leading urban centers,
fulfilling its long awaited destiny ... let us not purge this gift
by building a stadium where it does not belong,” Diaz wrote in a
widely circulated Wednesday email.
(Editing by David Adams and Cynthia Osterman)
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