Report: Beckham facing opposition from former Miami mayor on new stadium site

Second Miami Stadium Plan

By DAN KARELL

David Beckham is quickly learning that building a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Miami is much more difficult than he originally envisaged.

After deciding to push forward on a new stadium site adjacent to American Airlines Arena in Museum Park, Beckham and his representatives have reportedly received fresh opposition from five people including former Miami mayor Manny Diaz and the creator of the Museum Park master plan.

The opposition released a statement on Wednesday stating, “We would like to express our strong opposition to this (stadium) proposal for the same reasons that a comparable proposal to build a baseball stadium in Museum Park was rejected in 2000.

“The citizens’ consensus was clear: to preserve the area as green space with two museums, to maintain public access to the waterfront, to provide unobstructed views from Biscayne Boulevard toward the Bay for people of all social and economic backgrounds, and to preserve the FEC Slip as a waterfront recreational area with a bay walk and a place where boats could tie up and enjoy a waterfront park.”

Miami Beckham United’s new stadium proposal calls for a downtown stadium along the waterfront next to the Miami Heat’s basketball stadium American Airlines Arena and Museum Park. In return for using park land to build the stadium, Miami Beckham United has offered to fill a water basin owned by the Florida East Coast Railway and turn 8.5 acres of land into part of the park.

The five-member opposition however are asking the city commissioners to reject the proposal because it wouldn’t keep in line with the “vision” of Miami.

The opposition group includes former Mayor Diaz, Alexander Cooper, who created the master plan for Museum Park, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, a former University of Miami dean of architecture who helped develop the city’s Miami 21 zoning code, Victor Dover, who worked on the design of Museum Park, David Dixon, who helped draft the city’s parks master plan, and Ana Gelabert-Sánchez, a former city planning director.

Beckham’s real-estate advisor, John Alschuler, responded to the opposition via the Miami Herald with a statement calling the opposition “disappointing” and “ironic.”

“Miami Beckham United has proposed a realistic plan to expand Museum Park by more than 20 percent, bring a world-class soccer club to Miami that will be enjoyed by everyone, and enhance the public’s access to the waterfront – all made possible through $250 million in private funding, without a single penny of City or County money,” the statement read. “A new soccer park in downtown will appeal to Miami’s diverse community, bring the world’s greatest game to one of its greatest cities, and create jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

“It’s ironic that former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, whose Marlins Ballpark cost taxpayers more than $350 million without a single vote being cast, is now opposing a plan that expands Museum Park through private funding and a public vote. It’s disappointing that former Mayor Diaz and his supporters are choosing a disconnected waterfront over a continuous bay walk; a polluted, man-made mega yacht marina over more green space for the public; and a lifeless waterfront over an iconic soccer venue that draws residents and visitors to a downtown that they have worked so long to improve.”

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What do you think of this report? Think that Beckham could have to find another place to build his stadium? Do you believe this is the right spot for a soccer stadium to be built?

Share your thoughts below.

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44 Responses to Report: Beckham facing opposition from former Miami mayor on new stadium site

  1. NASLatlanta says:

    Lol. Love it! Go to Strikers games, folks.

  2. William the Terror says:

    Miami of Ohio looking better every day, David. Of course, there is no South Beach glamour for you and the wife, and the winters get a little cold. But you will have a natural rivalry with Columbus and maybe I’ll share a few of the Schoenling “Little Kings” bottles I’ve been saving in the refrigerator for a special occasion.

    • Kctc says:

      They could build it with a view of Hueston lake and we could get mass transit in the form of Miami metro busses running from old shriver center out to the park. Maybe even get a light rail setup from downtown Cincy running thru Hamilton and up into Oxford. Redhawks FC! I’m sure roethlisburger, szcerbiak, Travis prentice and Ron harper would all sign on as minority owners and Wally’s wife could get the nitro girls to the games to get the fans involved.

  3. AzTeXan says:

    Hope this gets strung out forever. I’m fine with Orlando and Atlanta for a SE footprint. I’ll take San Antonio. Indy and Sacramento over Miami. Thank you and please drive through Mr. Golden Balls.

    • bbstl says:

      I agree. If Beckham wants an expansion team, there are areas that make sense, like you said, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Minni.

    • LeaveAReplyMof@ says:

      I agree with you Az man. Maybe Garber can orchestrate an ownership arrangement between Becks and Sacto Republic. Thats just a hop and skip away from LA, where Becks has a home. And Sacto already has 20k fans ready to go. Becks didnt really like Floriday anyway.

    • shockedandawed says:

      Except world class stars don’t want to play in Indy or Sacramento, so these moves seem very unlikely.

    • IndyElevenFan says:

      WOOHOO! INDY! Almost 10,000 for the US Open Cup game at The Mike for our first official win in the books.

      COY11

  4. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Miami is so afraid of what happened with the Marlins park… and the fear mongering continues… Becks brings private money and wants to keep and even expand the vision of Museum Park and these nitwits want no part of it… talk about disconnected to the world…

    • Will says:

      I think it’s great. Glad MLS is hitting roadblocks in NASL markets.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Funny how you don’t ever hit road blocks when you’re not going anywhere.

        • NASLatlanta says:

          SUM and MLS are creating all kinds of road blocks for NASL teams. That must mean we’re going somewhere!

    • JayAre says:

      I don’t blame them for feeling that way if you’ve ever seen Marlins Park you’d think there is no way someone could get a free pass to build a cathedral esque stadium like this but they basically did and after watching cocaine cowboy a few days ago and hearing about all the political corruption I won’t be surprised if this former mayor is asking to get his palms greased

      • reignman says:

        The owner of the Marlins absolutely fleeced the city when he got that stadium built, simply outrageous what happened.

        • twosevenstreet says:

          Same thing happened in DC. The city has fought DCUnited because they gvae priority to the baseball team… A shame really

    • Goalscorer24 says:

      Im sure it is just posturing, they just want their cut of the pie.

  5. Karls says:

    “bring a world-class soccer club to Miami”
    lies like this is what turns people off.

    • barkdog says:

      You can’t accuse such a vague term as being a lie.

    • shockedandawed says:

      It could be considered one some day. How can you say this when the team hasn’t even been assembled? I love the ambition.

  6. michael f. sbi mafia original says:

    Based on the information in this article, there really is no GOOD reason for it to go ahead.
    “Miami Beckham United has proposed a realistic plan to expand Museum Park by more than 20 percent, bring a world-class soccer club to Miami that will be enjoyed by everyone, and enhance the public’s access to the waterfront – all made possible through $250 million in private funding, without a single penny of City or County money,” the statement read. “A new soccer park in downtown will appeal to Miami’s diverse community, bring the world’s greatest game to one of its greatest cities, and create jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

    “It’s ironic that former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, whose Marlins Ballpark cost taxpayers more than $350 million without a single vote being cast, is now opposing a plan that expands Museum Park through private funding and a public vote.”

  7. bryan says:

    great response from Beckham’s people. this opposition seems even more silly because they actually get MORE park land out of it. there will still be a bay walk and i’m sure they can have much smaller boat slips added into the plan. admittedly, i don’t live in Miami and only know what i read from these articles…but this seems silly.

    • bryan says:

      that said, if i’m Beckham, i’d almost be ready to say F this and move elsewhere. San Diego is very nice!

      • WxELFxW says:

        San Diego already has a team, albeit across the boarder with the Tijuana Xolos.

        • bryan says:

          well aware, i live here and am a Xolos fan. i would also be a SD fan if Beckham brought his team here. that would be a HIT, no doubt. granted, my loyalties are with DC United and LA Galaxy, but i’d still go to games.

    • JayAre says:

      These guys just want to be bribed in my opinion.

    • mikem says:

      I have to agree with Beck’s group on this one. This is the same site they should have build an open air baseball stadium

  8. JayNay says:

    Apparently no one actually wants MLS in their city. Probably Atlanta will have its set of whiners as well, or maybe not since it’s a NFL stadium.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Oh, there were many whiners when ATL got an MLS team…many commenters here on this website.

      Ironically, many of the whiners are the same people who scoff at you for supporting a European team over an MLS team and then oppose someone bringing an MLS team to an unserved region of the US because the team is playing in a football stadium.

  9. Jim says:

    Guess Miami Beckham United isn’t going to be down by da BEACH…

  10. EspinDOHla says:

    Beckham’s probably eyeing the remains of Chivas USA at this point. He could stay in LA and have his own team too.

    • IndyElevenFan says:

      Frankly – surprised that wasn’t his first choice (or Garber’s first choice). Makes logical sense. Set up a nice little backyard rivalry about who “officially” gets to claim Beckham as their’s.

  11. patrick says:

    I like Beckham’s lawyer, calling out Diaz on the BS he pulled while in office

  12. Nick in LA says:

    So in other words, the former Mayor is looking to get his palms greased. Especially after he saw all the bribe money involved with the other site.

    • Alex H says:

      Bribery has always been a part of soccer. It shows that we are truly catching up to the rest of the world. I don’t think Becks and his money-boys are the least bit concerned.

  13. scb says:

    So the five-member opposition group includes six people?

  14. Dan says:

    Anyone from the Miami area (like me) knows that Manny Diaz has absolutely 0 credibility on this for exactly the reason Beckham’s team cited – he is responsible for the fiasco that is Marlins Park. He was the one who pushed for their utterly disastrous funding deal. The only thing Beckham’s team got wrong in their press statement was the dollar value. With interest taken into account, the total cost of the Marlins SNAFU is going to be closer to $1B.

    Mayors like Diaz are the reason we ended up with a metro system that has 1.5 lines instead of its originally promised 6.

    God, I love Miami but sometimes it’s so infuriating.

  15. KB says:

    Can n one do anything in this country anymore without being protested or sued?

  16. Ami says:

    No reason to block the water front and destroy the park for a soccer stadium!

    Should be built elsewhere!

    • bryan says:

      couple of things must be happening here; you are either being ignorant to what is actually happening, you are tr0!!ing, or you just can’t read.

  17. Norn Iron says:

    I’m biased of course, because I live in the Raleigh, N.C. area, but Becks would never have had these kinds of problems here. There is already a 10,000 seat soccer specific stadium in Cary, a suburb of Raleigh where the NASL Carolina Railhawks play, with great access, parking, and PLENTY of land around it to expand seating capacity more in line with an MLS team. The problem for Becks here is, it’s not glamorous enough. Raleigh was recently voted the #1 large city in the country to raise a family, but I’m sure Beckham and his wife want the “glitz” of a higher profile big city.

    • NASLatlanta says:

      The Carolina Trainchickens are better off in NASL anyways. League structure allows for greater growth and more synergy with world game in the long run.