By FRANCO PANIZO
That beautiful, proposed stadium at PortMiami is looking less and less likely to happen for David Beckham and his group of investors.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez has asked Beckham’s group, Miami Beckham United, to consider a different site on which to build their proposed soccer-specific stadium. Miami Beckham United has made it known that it prefers the PortMiami location, but those plans have received substantial resistance in recent weeks from both county commissioners and Royal Caribbean Cruises, making things tougher for the group.
The good news for Miami Beckham United is that Gimenez has asked them to consider a nearby downtown waterfront property. There is a massive boat slip between Museum Park and AmericanAirlines Arena, and the mayor believes that space would be enough to create new land for a stadium and a pedestrian walkway along Biscayne Bay.
“Downtown Miami will greatly benefit from the creation of a grand waterfront park that will serve to bring our urban core closer to the water, providing a magnificent bay front walk along Biscayne Bay,” Gimenez wrote in a letter late Monday to Beckham’s real-estate adviser.
While this latest development is not necessarily good news for Beckham, PortMiami is still an option for the proposed 25,000-seat, open-air stadium. Other sites, including one near the Miami Marlins’ ballpark in Little Havana, are also options.
“I’ve always said everybody needs to take a deep breath,” Gimenez said. “We’re still working through this.”
According to the Miami Herald, Miami Beckham United said via a statement that it will look into the feasibility of filling and building a stadium on the area Gimenez has proposed.
Beckham’s group has insisted that it will pay for the construction of the stadium.
“Our goal from the outset has been to create a great fan experience, to provide an economic asset that creates jobs, and design a stadium that communicates the energy of Miami to the entire world,” the group said. “The Port is a strong site; however, a stadium next to AmericanAirlines Arena is an exciting possibility.”
The head of the Miami Seaport Alliance, which has opposed the stadium being built on PortMiami, said it would not be against a stadium on the site Gimenez has pointed to.
“Whatever site the community wants to do is lovely and wonderful, and we leave it to our elected officials to decide,” alliance president and Royal Caribbean lobbyist John Fox. “Our position has always been that we’re not in favor of getting this done at the seaport.”
What do you make of this development? Like the alternate area that Gimenez has proposed? Still hoping that PortMiami is ultimately where the stadium is built?
Share your thoughts below.