Report: Royal Caribbean form organization to oppose Beckham’s proposed PortMiami stadium

David Beckham of Paris St Germain adjusts his tie in the Directors' Box

By FRANCO PANIZO

The opposition to David Beckham’s proposed soccer-specific stadium in PortMiami is steadily growing.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, Royal Caribbean Cruises has rounded up some allies to form an organization to oppose Beckham’s desired stadium in the southwest corner of Dodge Island near downtown Miami. Royal Caribbean has been opposed to the idea of having the 25,000-seat stadium that will not be built with public money at that location from the outset, but this development marks the first organized resistance to Beckham’s plans.

The Miami Seaport Alliance even went as far as putting a full-page ad in each of Monday’s Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald issues. The title of the ad was, “Here We Go Again”.

“The Alliance wholeheartedly supports a soccer franchise in Miami and believes there are other sites that would benefit greatly from a stadium,” the ad said. “However, PortMiami is not one of them, due to the risks a port stadium would pose to jobs, cruise and cargo operations, security, and the port’s promising future.”

Beckham’s camp commented on this development on Monday through the global icon’s real-estate advisor.

“People are responding to speculation,” John Alschuler told the Miami Herald. “I’ve got confidence that commissioners, when presented with a formal recommendation by the mayor — and a full, factual briefing — will respond to the facts.”

While Beckham is keen on the waterfront property so as to show off Miami’s skyline and ocean views, there are other potential locations for a stadium for his expansion MLS franchise.

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What do you make of this development? Still think Beckham will get to build his soccer-specific stadium on PortMiami when it is all said and done? Should Beckham’s camp give up on the idea of the PortMiami site?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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81 Responses to Report: Royal Caribbean form organization to oppose Beckham’s proposed PortMiami stadium

  1. mike says:

    what are the other most promising sites?

    • Rory says:

      Buy Chivas and build a stadium in San Diego or in LA. Leave the Miami mess behind you Becks.

      • divers suck says:

        In lieu of all the failures of pro soccer in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area going back as far as the NASL days along with not so hot crowds at all the other S Florida sporting events (including the Dolphins, Panthers, Marlins and even the NBA champs Heat have a lot of empty seats at their games), I tend to agree with you, Rory.

      • Excellency says:

        Or he and Vicky can put their hipster glasses on and take a tour of Brooklyn. There has to be a Russian oligarch out there eager to fund a real NewYawk franchise to take on the NYCFC frauds.

    • Stan says:

      Best site for soccer in that area is Ft Lauderdale Strikers game at Lockhart. NASL rules!

  2. Reid says:

    One group will be happy…. the lawyers

  3. Scott e Dio93 says:

    There’s empty arena in Biscayne Key.

  4. AnchorageFC says:

    It could also be the hex I put on them.

    Either way, the whole Port Miami thing sounds like a bust unless funds are amassed privately(in majority)to shut them up, unless they’re going to hear a Marlins Park-fueled rage rant in media from all sides.

    And Orlando thought *they* had a tough sell to legislature and citizens…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      All fairness, I could have told them this was coming after the Marlins stadium, this is an inevitable backdrop to any stadium efforts this close behind that debacle.

      I also think from a congestion standpoint, having a stadium in an isolated bottleneck of a port area is probably a losing logistical concept.

      Time for Plan B. You can handle anti-stadium folks elsewhere by simply saying it’s a private stadium paid for by private financing, and meaning it. They should maybe even consider blowing off the sales tax rebate pursuit for a bit to let the issue die down — it only clouds the discussion.

      That being said, this is what happens when you hand out the franchise without a stadium plan. People see you coming, and there’s pressure to land someplace. As harsh as I was to NYC2, they have the Yankee Stadium lined up (such as it is). They have some place to tread water and wait out unreasonable landowners or political opponents.

      • BrianSD says:

        Beckham and Co. haven’t been handed a team. They won’t get a team until they get a stadium plan.

        • Eric_DC says:

          That’s not what MLS Commissioner Don Garber said when he named Miami the 22nd MLS team (though maybe they’ll be 23rd instead).

    • bryan says:

      “unless funds are amassed privately(in majority)to shut them up”

      huh? the stadium is going to be financed from private money, although the article does mention a $40M subsidy over 20 years. the opposition is basically because Royal doesn’t want the land used for a stadium. has nothing to do with the funding…from what i’ve read. Miami will charge a “fair” rent for having the privately funded stadium on city land, but that’s standard.

      heck, that article even says they want that land because they want to eventually dredge the shallow water around it so they can use it for big ships. problem is, it would need public-private funding and the port is already running significant debt.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think what he was saying, which I buy, is that in the modern “Citizens United” era of political finance, if you are wanting to compete with a well funded PR machine opposing your idea, you would need your own well funded PR machine to compete in the marketplace of ideas.

        These days a drumbeat that the stadium is the Marlins all over again just doesn’t happen, someone funds it, arranges the advertising, engages the media, etc.

        I think they need to assess whether the stadium fight is worth the political and reputational damage it might cause, particularly if they still lose to the office developer and have to try and find another location. You don’t want to make enemies fighting for a losing cause.

        • bryan says:

          ah yes, i see what you mean and what he was getting at regarding private funds. he’s talking lobbyists. fight money with money.

          100% agree there. misread his point.

  5. Frantz Mathieu fan says:

    These guys should worry about keeping their passengers from getting ill and leave team Beckham alone.

  6. KB says:

    Maybe they can spend three years at whatever they’re calling the Dolphins stadium nowadays. :)

  7. argh says:

    I’m confused. why is this a problem.

    He’s bringing loads of $$$$$$$ to the city. why can’t they make it easy?

    • reignman says:

      They can’t make it easy because the cruise lines also have a ton of money, you can’t just displace big businesses like that easily. The idea that some people around here have that money instantly fixes everything makes me laugh. It helps but both of these groups are worth crazy money so I don’t see how one has a huge advantage over the other.

      • Rory says:

        Except how is this hurting the cruise line? Because it might be harder for their patrons to get in and out on the off chance they board or port while a game is going on?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The Port is going to argue that his stadium might choke off the port operations and cruise ship operations with traffic and people. There might be logistical fixes to this — only play games certain times of days relative to port traffic — but it’s a compelling argument. The port is established and doing its thing.

      That being said, an office building wouldn’t be much friendlier to port traffic, so it proves too much. There really shouldn’t be either, if the traffic excuse is legit.

    • JayAre says:

      This is just the cost of doing business. People always look into these things too much all that’s going to happen is both sides get lawyers, send a few motions back and fourth and come to a settlement. Miami is pretty corrupt these things happen all the time.

    • Scott e Dio93 says:

      I live in the South Florida, and both Dolphins and Marlins don’t have huge fan support. Just image both city and county giving money to build the stadium, after Marlins’ stadium fiasco. And Miami area won’t pay to see Rapids or RSL or other no-name teams, only Impact might have huge support fan here, and Miami will need real “stars” to attract fans.

  8. reignman says:

    Giving teams to cities without a firm prospect of a SSS is such great business from MLS, I never saw how it could potentially blow up in their face. Bad news all around today for future MLS stadiums’, we should be requiring much more firm timelines and schedules for stadium completion, not just drawings of what it could look like. I think this one will get done before NYCFC but I still think we are talking 4-5 years down the line more than likely.

    • don Lamb says:

      What ownership group is going to build a stadium if they are not guaranteed a spot in the league? Also, the stadium quest provides marketing which will help the team when it is up and functional.

      • reignman says:

        Some firm progress on actually making a land purchase to put a stadium would be nice. It isn’t unreasonable for a league to expect potential teams to have firm leads on a stadium, this nonsense of just giving teams to cities which only have dreams of building a stadium is not a good idea.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        link to en.wikipedia.org
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Why should MLS bear the risk of failure? You build the stadium and establish bona fides and I will then promote the successes. You have to show you belong, you take the risk of failure. I don’t have to assume the stadium will be OK, assume you have latent attendance who will show up for MLS, etc. All that guesswork then becomes my risk. You’ve already built a 10K stadium (that can be expanded), tried to fill it, and I can evaluate how well you did.

        We will soon have 20+ teams, we’ve covered most of the good choices, you want in the club, show you belong. I don’t need you, you need me.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        While my comment is awaiting moderation, I will just say that Stade Saputo and San Antonio’s Toyota stadium were built by minor league sides. There are other examples. Making them build the stadium — and they have a minor league team to house, so it’s not an exercise in futility — shifts the risk to the applicant rather than us. We have 99% of the possible good choices absorbed in a 20 team league already. They need us, but we only need the best of them.

  9. William the Terror says:

    The cruise industry. Why do people still go on cruises? I mean, half the time, the ship gets 500 miles away from land and a fire in the engine room results in a complete loss of power. The passengers then have to wait in the tropical heat for several days while they are towed back to port with no ice, air conditioning or sanitary facilities. The other half of cruises all seem to end with an outbreak of some deadly intestinal virus that leaves 700 people with explosive diarrhea, which results in a strain on the sanitary facilities and even more people getting sick. But, there are probably much shorter lines for the all-you-can-eat buffet.

    • argh says:

      agreed. Basically it’s the only way

      lower middle class people can “behave like they are wealthy:”

      you know the type. young yuppies who are on their honeymoon, your mom and aunt saved up for 1 year to attend, family of 7 who cant go to disneyworld but on the cruise

    • smartestonthepitch says:

      “half the time” ? it happened once.

      • William the Terror says:

        I was embellishing to make a point that the cruise industry does not have a model image and is in this fight for the money. And, in recent memory, the engine room fire thing may have only happened once. But, the filthy on board conditions leading to widespread sickness of passengers scenario happens all the time. It just happened again this last weekend.

        And, for the record, my comment was never intended as a slight to the perceived social status of the passengers. My beef is always with big business and unregulated cutthroat capitalism. Stick it to the man!

    • Mocha says:

      I have been on three cruises in the past 16 months and have had NONE of those issues. Obviously you have never been on a cruise. I was actually on a ship directly after a bad storm ruined part of the ship and there was no evidence of any damage at all. I would consider my husband and I to be middle upper class with no children who live in a vacation capital of the US. So while we are spoiled with Theme Parks and Beaches, we enjoy the getaways that cruises are. While we get great last minute deals, we work hard to vacation hard :)

      • William the Terror says:

        Again, MY comment had nothing to do with demographics, social status, etc. It had to do with cruise mishaps, which are always in the headlines. You might not have experienced any problems. Great. I too live in the cesspool that is Florida, and I have friends and family with cruise horror stories.

        Your photo shows you posing with the Maus. Ugh.

        • Weston John says:

          Cesspool? Is someone in Florida holding you here against your will?

          If not, are you aware that you are free to cross the state’s border and go live somewhere else?

  10. Brain Guy says:

    Which will happen first?

    – Miami franchise plays in its own stadium
    – NYCFC plays in its own stadium
    – DC United plays in a new stadium
    – NE plays in its own stadium

    • reignman says:

      Ives should make this a poll, with a follow up poll asking how long until the first one is actually done. My vote is for Miami but I think it’ll be 4-5 years

    • Drew11 says:

      Miami won’t have a problem getting a privately done stadium. The problem is the water front location. They are never going to get it and should just give up. Vancouver tried the same and you can see where they play now.

    • PSU says:

      I don’t know which will happen first, but NE playing in it’s own stadium will happen last.

    • milbo says:

      Sounders will build their own stadium by 2019

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Fun poll. I vote for NYCFC. Sharing a stadium with an NFL team presents some challenges, but sharing a baseball stadium has got to be awful.

  11. Jeff says:

    Would it be fair to say it will be a Royal Virus to stadium project?

  12. barkdog says:

    If the cruise industry is against it, it’s probably a good idea.

  13. RK says:

    They could play in the Marlins’ stadium for 3 years.

  14. slowleftarm says:

    Another poor and totally unnecessary MLS expansion. Atlanta is a step backwards to MLS 1.0, with fans rattling around in a soulless 70,000 in the worst sports city in America. Yet compared to Miami and New York Yankees FC, Atlanta actually has its act together. Scary!

    And where do we stop? Never, since according the to the RSL GM, MLS should have 30-32 teams. Why? Because MLB and the NFL do, of course!

    • slowleftarm says:

      70,000 seat stadium is what my comment should say, of course.

    • bryan says:

      to be honest, i’m starting to think Atlanta will have one of the better stadium plans. they have a state of the art stadium in downtown ATL. on top of that, they actually have cutting edge technology to cover up the entire upper bowl. Vancouver does not and so it does not look amazing.

      the more and more i hear about Atlanta, the more i think it has a good plan in place. it remains to be seen if Blank will spend money, but i’m thinking Garber and MLS would have told him they expect him to compete with some of the higher spenders in MLS. it also remains to be seen if people will actually show up.

    • Chris says:

      Do you just sit on this site and whine all day long? You seem like such a poor, angry soul.

      Also, isn’t Beckham’s Miami franchise only going to happen if he lands a stadium?

      • slowleftarm says:

        I do visit this site while at work probably more than I should but my comments do include some positive ones as well. However, I think you’ll find that most of the comments on this site, and the internet in general, are pretty negative.

        However, regarding the recent MLS expansion announcements, outside of Orlando, I don’t see much good to say. I think Orlando is a great addition and is the model MLS should follow when expanding. There – is that positive enough for you?

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Your comment got me thinking about MLS’s most successful clubs (in terms of fans and team performance). How many came from already established non-MLS teams (e.g., Sounders) versus teams that magicked out of thin air (e.g., Miami, NYFC)?

  15. Cosmosfan says:

    Wait, MLS is having issues with finding a home for their prematurely announced expansion teams. Shocking.

  16. Josephnsantos says:

    I have to continue to admire David Beckman . He was not only a great soccer player but he also
    very successful at what ever he tried. No sell him short.
    J Santos

    and has been

  17. Paul says:

    It’s too bad Goldenballs doesn’t have another city to negotiate with. Let’s see him start flirting with San Diego or Minneapolis. That would cause the people in Miami to get their sh!t together pretty quick.

  18. bryan says:

    you know, this is Fing ridiculous and i have no connections to Miami of any kind:

    “due to the risks a port stadium would pose to jobs, cruise and cargo operations, security, and the port’s promising future.”

    give me a BREAK. empty statements made to stir fear related to job losses, security, and the “future”. what?!?! whenever anyone has any opposition to anything, those three things are mentioned despite no evidence presented to prove it. it’s BS.

    at least Beckham’s real-estate adviser made a statement essentially saying that. but, much like political ads, there has to be something done regarding these empty, fear-mongering statements not based in fact. this is defamation as far as i’m concerned.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Well, it’s not like they could just come out and say “Eff you, pay me”, they have to come up with a nice lawyerly statement to say the same thing.

      • bryan says:

        i don’t really understand what you mean. who is saying that? why would Beck’s group pay the cruise companies?

        i’m saying come out with specifics as to why before you start blasting newspapers with inaccurate information and citing, “job loss,” “security (read: terrorism),” and “the future” as reason to oppose. hallow statements.

        i’m just bitter with that kind of a thing because look at the original poll put out in DC about the DCU stadium. the language was TOTALLY twisted and confusing. it was obviously trying to make it sound like public money was the main source of funding when that is not even close to the truth. more than anything, it’s just the system i’m fed up with.

        • bryan says:

          *hollow lol

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          bryan: I can’t believe that you hate America so much that you’d like to see Port Miami destroyed forever.

          ;)

          In seriousness, I can see how a stadium would negatively impact the port, including jobs. The stadium would occupy land that could be used for something else—I don’t know that anyone is actually proposing something else, but a stadium would negate even that possibility for the next few decades. Stadia are notoriously poor job creators (despite what owners claim). There are some businesses that need a port in order to function (e.g., Royal Caribbean), whereas a stadium just needs proximity to public transit; i.e., it can be built almost anywhere. Traffic congestion around the port is another legitimate and costly concern.

          I’m not saying that the Miami Seaport Alliance is not fear-mongering—of course it is—but there is some truth behind the fear-mongering.

          • bryan says:

            hahahaha you know me!

            i see it impacting jobs directly related to the cruise line, but being canceled out by jobs directly related to the stadium. essentially a break even in net jobs. don’t know that for a fact, but neither of them provided stats to show one way or the other. that’s my issue there.

            i’m not so sure the stadium would negate anything. according to the article linked above, they want to keep the land for “future use/jobs” related to port activities. they “may” use that land and then dredge the shallow water around it so big ships can unload/load there or cruise ships could dock. but the language reads as it’s just something they’ve been thinking about, no concrete plans at all. there is no money either as the port is “debt-laden” right now. to me, that says the land will sit there unused without any jobs being created anytime soon. you could argue, based solely on that information, that the stadium would lead to jobs quicker (both temp and perm).

            i understand why they want the land. having offices right there is certainly convenient and one day potentially dredging that area could result in more cargo/cruise traffic (read: $). but they should say that instead of claiming job losses, security concerns, and the future of the port being in jeopardy.

            also, how do we know the offices there will actually result in more jobs? what if they just move people from one office to that office? construction jobs will be created with either plan, so i’d like to see proof that construction of an office complex would equate to more jobs than construction of a stadium and the surrounding businesses/bars/etc. that will pop up around it.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Good points. Also, reading your comment, I realized where FRANK gets all of his capital letters.

  19. argh says:

    O/T

    King Joffrey is dead. Rejoice my countrymen

  20. Excellency says:

    Too much greed is giving Garber and friends “grabitis”. Going for the fast buck is not the way to go. In Atlanta they will share a stadium with an NFL team owned by NFL guys and play on another rug.

    The sport will only thrive if we let it. It cant survive the gutting it is getting from everybody out for another fistful of dollars.

    We have the magic number of around 20 teams. Time to get some cities interested with character who really want a team and institute relegation.

  21. Ga1atic0 says:

    Didn’t I read somewhere the PSG owners where going to be involved somehow. That type of money can make anything possible

    • bryan says:

      yeah, apparently Beckham wants to get them involved. but it was only that initial report that i’ve seen.

  22. KingGoogleyEye says:

    “Beckham is keen on the waterfront property so as to show off Miami’s skyline and ocean views….”

    Is that why people go to soccer matches?

  23. cabrito says:

    If it doesn’t work in Miami, Beckham and MLS should put a team in Vegas. They could probably get some casino mogul to pay for a domed/retractable roof stadium on the strip. People already fly to Vegas from all over the World. If there is a Beckham FC there, it would be a “must-see” event. Not to mention all the international friendlies they’d have. Big Hispanic population too and no other professional sport to compete with.

  24. Chris says:

    Can anyone address this situation for me:

    Wasn’t it stipulated Beckham and Miami ONLY happens if they get a stadium deal? (for all those bashing the expansion without a stadium thing)

  25. Travis in Miami says:

    Free shirt sponsorship and name rights to the stadium for 3-5 years should take care of this issue.

    Carnival Cruise Stadium

    Done. Problem solved. Becks, make so…