Report: Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium runs into hurdle

Miami stadium rendering 3

By FRANCO PANIZO

Landing a stadium in PortMiami was never going to be easy for David Beckham, and now he has his first real hurdle to overcome.

Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday did not allow PortMiami to move a fuel-spill facility that would need to be relocated for Beckham’s proposed soccer-specific stadium, according to a report from the Miami Herald. Finding a new home for the warehouse would cost approximately $6 million.

Port officials faced questions from commissioners over the port’s future. Beckham hopes that future will include a stadium and entertainment complex on the southwest corner of Dodge Island. At least one commissioner expressed concern that Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez is backing a stadium location that the commission won’t support.

“I think there’s a sentiment that it should not be in play,’’ Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo told the Miami Herald of the port as a soccer option. “There may be a majority on this commission who do not want it in play.”

Beckham’s representation did not speak on Tuesday, but it did have a lobbyist spend the entire day in the commission chambers.

Port officials wanted the site where the stadium would located to be used for a new commercial complex instead, even with downtown Miami brokers and developers showing opposition because of what they deem a glutted office market.

Beckham, however, is hoping to convince local businesses and citizens that a soccer stadium for his expansion MLS franchise would be a good thing for all parties involved.

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What do you make of this development? Do you see the stadium being built in PortMiami when everything is all said and done?

Share your thoughts below.

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65 Responses to Report: Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium runs into hurdle

  1. The Imperative Voice says:

    So the rendering needs to change back to nasty port buildings, no?

    Downtown Miami is a wasteland of highrises so this is political. The councilpeople like the people with the office project, the mayor backs the stadium. This may reflect insufficient backscratching — Houston’s stadium was held up by county politics even though the mayor had signed off — or it may be intractable.

    This is a healthy reality check that there are many bureaucratic, funding, etc. steps between one of these pretty renderings and reality. There’s a reason Miami is calendared for 2017, and probably that in pencil. It is not the gimmee people suggest nor is it guaranteed success if it gets there. Far as I’m concerned this is the Beckham Vanity Project until the stadium is finished. We promised a team, this is where he wants it, up to him to make it happen.

    • Joamiq says:

      Yeah, the last thing that part of Miami needs is more office buildings. There are way more huge buildings there than you’d ever expect.

  2. reignman says:

    This news shouldn’t shock anyone at all. Building stadiums in a major city is always going to be difficult, part of why I think it could be many years before NYCFC is playing in a SSS. Will be interested to see how this plays out over the next couple of months.

    • JayAre says:

      Miami and NYCFC will be ok once they make their campaign donations they’re two primarily foreign based ownership groups so they are new to the game. Atlanta Falcons and Braves seems to have planned ahead of everyone with their donations and everyone keeps talking about how they don’t want ATL in MLS.

  3. Drew11 says:

    Not a surprise. They are never got to get waterfront land in Miami.

  4. Big Chil says:

    Why would you build at sea level on the waterfront when it’s not even going to be there in 30 years?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Interesting point. People try and make blame for climate change into a question of blame and politics, but you look at some Pacific islands and they are already dealing with the practical implications of sealevel rise.

      Also, how would this stand up to a storm surge in Hurricane Alley? In Brisbane, Australia their stadium was flooded a few years back.

    • kevin o says:

      (1) Many projections from the 90′s had sea levels rising to destructive levels by 2015–obviously not happening

      (2) Stadiums generally aren’t used for 30 years anymore, anyways.

      • Jack Del says:

        I don’t want to wade into a political battle here on science, but there were no reputable scientific predictions made in the 90s that said anything of the sort.

      • Travis in Miami says:

        It’s 2014 (not 2015) and the sea has done already risen to destructive levels. Need proof:

        Did you know one of the main issues involved in last years Miami Beach Mayoral race was the flooding that happens after it rains? Have you attempted to drive in Miami Beach after a rain (I do)? Ask the tow truck companies who are much busier due to people trying to drive their fancy sport sedans through the flooded streets of South beach. Ask the insurance companies of those cars. Ask the public works departments that are continuously having to repair, unclogg and expand the drainage systems.

        It’s getting real people. And real fast.

        • Travis in Miami says:

          And sometimes it doesn’t even have to rain to tax the sea level cities drainage system. During a full moon the lunar pull on the tides is enough for the drainage system to actually back flow up into the streets causing areas of flooding – on a perfectly clear day.

          This wasn’t happening 10 years ago.

        • Joamiq says:

          I lived in Miami for a while, and my impression was that issues like poor drainage were a matter of poor planning and maintenance. Miami made me really appreciate northeastern urban planning, which I had previously taken for granted.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Not everyone is going to agree with Big Chil of course. There are plenty that treat this as a political thing obviously…..But if I am the city and someone wants to take the risk, layoff the risk.

      My opinion is Becks is an idiot to want to build there. Other disagree.

  5. William the Terror says:

    He wanted them to move a ” fuel-spill facility?” Well, aside from the environmental unfriendliness of that request, it’s just plain shortsighted. I mean, with all the gel in Beckham’s hair, they may well need some oil containment on humid nights.

  6. Horsewhistle says:

    All this stadium chatter is turning into an arms race.

  7. Jack Del says:

    “Port officials wanted the site where the stadium would be built on for a new commercial complex, even with downtown Miami brokers and developers showing opposition because of what they deem a glutted office market.”

    Oh so much corruption and so little time. Trying to rig some more development bids for your friends, eh? Because what downtown Miami needs is more empty office space. So much empty office space.

    So a few corrupt commissioners are using the spill-build as leverage to keep their backer-tied plans in place while the public and mayor want the stadium.

    Hm, have to think Beckham will win the public relations battle on this one.

    Privately funded sports stadium and small retailer space versus gaudy empty office building… so tough.

    • William the Terror says:

      Privately funded stadium? Please. Beckham’s was up here in Tallahassee just last week lobbying the legislature for tax breaks. That means another privately owned but publicly funded sports arena.

      • Jack Del says:

        Major difference between tax breaks and public funding. They aren’t the same thing.

        • William the Terror says:

          Depends on how you look at it. The owners might fund the stadium with private money up front, but by getting tax breaks, they essentially get the money refunded to them on the back end. It’s still corporate welfare that benefits a privileged few at the expense of the many.

          • Jack Del says:

            Oh, I’m not going to disagree about privileged tax advantages… just that a loss in predicted revenue versus a loss in current capital is a major difference.

            I keep a tax attorney on staff for one of my pass-throughs and he shares tidbits about big clients he works with. Another world.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I think the “tax breaks” point is fair but that it’s a more strained argument to suggest that it becomes a public stadium because they get sales tax rebates related to the business conducted at their privately financed and built stadium. That money by definition reflects the business as a going concern (selling goods and services), and could in theory be used to pay players, pay staff, or pay the mortgage.

            For that matter, I think it matters whose name is on the deed and who operates it. If the governments give nothing and Miami FC so to speak owns it, that’s private. You can’t pull back a lease in 20 years and have public land. It’s theirs. They have a mortgage, bonds, hole in their bank account, however it gets paid. At least so far in theory, they claim they’ll pay it all. Is that what happens? Stay tuned. Houston and Harris County ultimately chipped in tens of millions even though that was primarily private. They also got the deed and merely long term lease to the Dynamo.

            Fair point on the sales tax rebates, not a fan. It kind of defeats the tax value of a business to hand them back their taxes. Nor is that fair to the working stiff who pays their own income and other taxes.

            • John says:

              Just what the hell do you think yer doin?

              We’re just trying to talk about sports here and you guys come in with your innerleckshual chit-chat.

              This is America. There will be no big words and there certainly will be no complaining about corporate welfare. Can’t you just let us enjoy our sports without making us think about something, much less about how much the owners are taking out of our pockets? These are our job creators we’re talking about here!

      • CeezNYRB says:

        That is simply not true. Learn the facts first before subjecting yourself to ridicule in a PUBLIC forum. I’ll give you the day to read up on the facts and correct yourself. If you still don’t understand what’s going on, I can help you out.

        …and no, I’m not a Miami supporter. Obviously.

        • William the Terror says:

          link to nbcmiami.com

          Yes. It is true. I’m a corporate lawyer in Tallahassee, and I was here last week. He wants two million a year in sales tax revenue. And, I have forgotten more about finance than you will ever learn, so why don’t you stop talking now.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            “Oh, he’s not in Tallahassee schmoozing? If the article doesn’t convince you, perhaps the SELFIE TAKEN BY THE GOVERNOR WITH BECKHAM does.” Or are we wandering into the proof levels required to convict R. Kelly on the Chappelle Show (“Okay, I’d have to see a video of him singing “%#@ On You,” two forms of government ID, a police officer there to verify the whole thing, four or five of my buddies and Neal taking notes, and R. Kelly’s grandma to confirm his identity.”).

            • William the Terror says:

              It was disgusting to see governor pRick Scott and half the legislature fawning over Beckham to get selfies taken.

              • Jack Del says:

                Rick Scott is just disgusting in the first place.

                The irony of Florida, land of the old people, electing a man directly involved in literally the largest Medicare scam in history is palpable.

          • Drew11 says:

            MLS wants sales tax REBATES. That ever other major league sport in FL get.

            How much tax revenue is that property currently generating?

            • William the Terror says:

              Don’t know how much tax revenue the property is generating. And I realize that other sports get tax breaks. My point is not that I’m against Beckham for seeking them. My point is that NO sport should be getting public money, up front or on the back end, to help fund arenas. Let them get loans or sell bonds. Corporate welfare takes money that could be used for schools, hospitals and fire departments.

              • QuakerOtis says:

                And I think most of these people are missing your larger point: private companies bemoan public *anything*, but then lean on public resources as an aspect of their private business plan. It bilks tax payers, undermines the notion of law and public representation, and is antithetical to the central “values” of the self-proclaimed laissez fair crowd.

                The question isn’t whether Becks is playing by the “rules”, but whether the “rules” should be so.

              • Kosh says:

                @ QuakerOtis

                + 1

                “Hear, hear” I proclaim, “Hear, hear indeed”!!

              • Drew11 says:

                You have problem with green subsidies to billionaires? I doubt it. How many kids could we feed with those wasted billions? Corporate welfare good for thee but not me. Got it.

              • QuakerOtis says:

                Drew: I have a problem with the Gov “subsidizing” anything. But, I would prefer the Gov lead the way where private industry is otherwise unsuitable, as is the case with “green energy.” There are a number of reasons the energy companies of today can’t/won’t invest in such energy, and it does not make them evil. It just speaks to the limits of private enterprise (yes, they exist). I would, for example, equate “green energy” with putting a man on the moon, or the Marshall plan, or something like that.

                But let’s say I do want to subsidize green energy. THAT has a benefit to the nation, arguably the world, that a bleeping sports stadium won’t have to many in the very locale it’s placed… especially Miami, where no one will see a game until Pele and Garrincha lace up against Lebron, Kobe, and Unitas.

          • Bac says:

            William, isn’t he just asking for the same tax break that all the other stadiums get or was there more to it? I seem to recall reading conflicting info, and you seem to know what the real story is

            • William the Terror says:

              See above reply to Drew.

            • Drew11 says:

              Don’t bother asking William. You won’t get anything but a juvenile political rant response from him.

              MLS wants a rebate on a portion of the sales tax they generate. Basically the pro team charges sales tax on tickets, jerseys, etc, and then keeps the tax
              instead of sending it along to the state.

              It rebate only applies to the stadium. If that Beckham MLS Miami jersey is bought at the airport the state would get the sales tax.

              The state won’t be cutting a check to Beckham which makes the political rants silly. This potential sales tax revenue won’t even exist without a pro sports stadium. It’s a good deal for everybody.

              • William the Terror says:

                What’s juvenile about it? Other businesses in Florida don’t get rebates on the sales taxes they generate. Why should there be an exception for sports teams?

          • CeezNYRB says:

            Ok, Mr. Bigshot Corporate Lawyer, Esq. III, Jr.

            As a lawyer, you must understand the importance of words and their meanings. It is absolutely crucial in your line of work. Having said that, you need to understand the difference between a “privately funded” $200 million stadium (privately funded being how the stadium will be paid for) and a $2 million subsidy (which every major professional sports team gets). They are not synonymous. I know you’re not a mathematician but a $2 million subsidy does not a $200 million stadium make.

            You dunce.

        • Tony Moses says:

          Irrational & insecure, nice combo.
          Change your mentality – your life will thank you!

          • William the Terror says:

            Are you replying to Ceez or to me? If the former, bravo. If me, I will accept that I am occasionally irrational.

      • Free beer says:

        Maybe necks can submit to a corporate welfare piss test just as the poor need to do in Florida to receive benefits

  8. Relegate US says:

    This is what happens when Uncle Luke from the 2 Live Crew comes out against the stadium.

    • Jack Del says:

      Nothing like some good old fashioned pathetic objectification of women to start your afternoon.

      • EspinDOHla says:

        Maybe you missed the point Jack, I guess the “embarrassment” of the Algarve Cup is still clouding your mind…

        My point is that I find it comical that Uncle Luke is one to get on his high horse…

        • Jack Del says:

          ?

          • Increase0 says:

            I think he was quoting some Lyrics. I’m not really into the hippity hop. Dunno for sure.

            • EspinDOHla says:

              Yes, they were lyrics from 2 Live Crew. One of the rappers in 2 Live Crew is coming out strongly against MLS in Miami saying that the only reason the politicians are behind this is because of Beckham and that there is not support of minority businesses. That may be true but I think it’s funny (ironic?) that Luke, out of all people, is sounding the charge after making a career on the objectification of women.

  9. The Dude says:

    I feel very strongly that MLS is making a mistake by allowing teams to enter the league before they have secured and BUILT a GRASS-turfed playing field. Of all the teams set to enter the league–Orlando, NYCFC, Miami, and Atlanta–none meet this criteria, which is a problem.

    Orlando: grass SSS in the works, but need to play at a temporary home first. They’re the closest to meeting this criteria.

    Atlanta: turf field, no concrete plans for grass SSS field. Might as well be the Metrostars of the late 90s. Terrible idea for MLS that really sets this league back.

    NYCFC: grass field, perhaps, but not their own stadium. Temporary homes do not work! They undermine the stability and identity of a team, and create precarity down the line.

    Miami: technically they haven’t been admitted to the league yet, and they shouldn’t be until they have built a grass-field SSS within the urban core.

    No more turf! No more temporary stadia!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Ideally grass, yes. Has to be grass, meh. But I agree that regardless of perceived ownership group quality, they should make them line up the stadium before awarding the franchise. I personally think we should also be just cherry picking the best attended minor league teams to minimize risk, but that seems to have gone out the window. Heck, I don’t think we should even be necessarily expanding.

    • Brain Guy says:

      +1.

      • The Dude says:

        It must be grass. The league has wavered on this of late, but it has come out strongly in favor of grass in the past. There are currently four teams playing on plastic at the moment, and three of those teams must share a stadium with a football team. The fourth, Portland, is exploring natural grass.

        MLS was, at one point, pressuring New England to build a grass SSS in the urban core, but the Krafts aren’t serious about soccer. The other two Cascadia teams are basically stuck with plastic.

        So be it.

        But why create conditions that allow new teams to get into bad situations. Turf changes the pace and flow of a game, increases risk of injury (I know this is a vexed debate, but I’m clearly on one side of it), and detracts talent from playing in MLS. Not to mention that turf always seems to come with the promise of a massively oversized and cavernous stadium. NYCFC and Atlanta will embarrass the league with poor attendance and poor atmosphere.

        Smaller markets, grass fields. It’s been the winning recipe of late.

        The big markets, however, such as NY and LA, are struggling. RBNY doesn’t come close to filling a 25k stadium. The Galaxy do alright, but Chivas does not. The city isn’t big enough for the two of them.

        But I digress…

    • milbo says:

      W/o Timbers Sounders and Vancouver MLS would still be begging for 1.1 status.. Grass only?

  10. Chris says:

    So it looks like the sky’s still blue and grass is still green. Cool.

  11. Shane says:

    Beckham should just go ahead an go to Austin instead.

  12. whoop-whoop says:

    Eh… a very predictable part of the normal game of politics. In order to win favors regarding ones own “pet project” and/or interest group, it’s standard practice to never, ever hand over support for free. Whether or not there is good reason, one must ALWAYS come in a skeptic, in opposition… needing to be persuaded/ sold (or rather, bought). This is particularly true of something backed by billions.

  13. MiamiAl says:

    Its just a usual shakedown…nothing to see here…there will be many more before the stadium is finally built…

  14. beto says:

    Big surprise. Idk much about Miami but the spot near the School Board metromover stop always looked more feasible/accessible (to those who dont drive speedboats around town)

  15. don Lamb says:

    I think I got Beckhamed. That is, I bought into something that was only hype. I did not buy the Miami Vice team name, but I bought the idea of the stadium on the port. Man, I’m a sucker for some damn fine marketing.