David Beckham, and just about everybody, knew building a new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Miami for his MLS franchise would be a difficult proposition.
Surely nobody thought it would be this tough?
Reports from the Miami Herald state Beckham’s camp have now given up on trying to build a new stadium on the PortMiami site which faced severe opposition from huge cruise ship companies and many others. The new Major League Soccer franchise in MIA was thought to be ready to arrive in 2017 but these planning issues for a new stadium may throw a spanner in the works.
Now the future home for Miami’s MLS franchise could be located at another waterfront location, on a deep-water boat slip right next to the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena.
According to the Herald a decision to move away from Beckham’s preferred location came after a meeting at Miami City Hall with Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. John Alschuler, Beckham’s real-estate adviser, had this to say afterward: “Our goal has always been to build a great stadium along the waterfront. We view this as a meaningful step in the right direction.”
Gimenez also revealed that this option is now Plan A and the port option is the back up plan. However both stadium sites will likely face fierce opposition from locals who don’t feel a new soccer stadium should clog up the already small amount of public waterfront space in downtown Miami.
There seem to be two major stumbling blocks with this proposal. Number one: in order to use the boat slip they must fill the entire basin which would cost $20 million alone and create plenty of issues with environmental activists. Number two: the capacity of the stadium could be reduced to 20,000 and any potential stadium share with the University of Miami American football team would go out of the window.
Many believe there will be a referendum on the stadium and that will not be until August at the earliest but probably in November. Work to do for Beckham and co. in Miami.
Could this stadium deal could really scupper the future of an MLS franchise in Miami?