Report: Mayor asks Beckham to consider different Miami waterfront stadium site

Miami stadium rendering 3

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.”

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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.

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55 Responses to Report: Mayor asks Beckham to consider different Miami waterfront stadium site

  1. mike says:

    screw em. head to ft lauderdale instead.

  2. Darwin says:

    Port Miami won’t be around in 20 years!

    • Joey Chestnut says:

      Sounds like the Beckham group deal in reality, not political lies.

      • der says:

        hahaha….blurb…blurb blurb….

      • Ian says:

        I don’t suppose you’ve logged into SAGE or JSTOR lately, huh. There is overwhelming evidence that suggests sea levels are rising. It really isn’t just pop culture half-opinions and sloganeering.

      • Bach's Thumb says:

        God the irony of this is almost palpable.

    • Drew11 says:

      It’s a fighting over land. That’s the value. You can’t print more waterfront land in MIA.

  3. EQeki says:

    I’ve been talking about the site for the last year….. but since Im not important I guess my opinion doesnt matter

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Matters to me dude. Would this location work? (Serious question.)

      • Travis in Miami says:

        It seems very feasible. The space is available.

      • EQeki says:

        When the rumors first came out, I started looking at downtown Miami maps and that was the first piece of open land I saw. They use that land for concerts, cirque de sole, and brazilian carnival. I think theres a plan to build a cuban museum (heavily criticized) in that same space.

        I did the same thing for new quakes stadium. Started looking at land and saw the perfect opportunity to build across from the HP pavilion. Turns out without knowing, that was the same location for the “proposed A’s Stadium”

        • Ryan from NC in NYC says:

          please find somewhere in Raleigh proper, or Charlotte. (then please share w/ me your findings – seriously)

  4. JakeTheSnake says:

    Yeah, head near the Marlins stadium…there’s plenty of empty parking spaces they could use there

  5. bbstl says:

    You know, there is some waterfront property that could be purchased on the cheap in ST LOUIS. Granted, the waterfront would be on the Mississippi River, but does it really matter?

    • Greg says:

      lol yea bro, ima say it REALLY does matter…Miami and the Atlantic Ocean are a bit different than St.Louis and the Mississippi in my book

      • bbstl says:

        I know, I was joking (probably should have made that more clear). I’m just saying that there are other options out there.

        • Nick says:

          You were clearly joking..no need to make it more obvious. No idea how that guy thought you were seriously comparing the two waterfront locations.

  6. NASL to El Paso tx says:

    I think by Beckham and his crew walking to another site will only help the group gain support and get what they want. It’s like telling your ford dealer, let me go check out Chevy and all of the sudden both want to kiss your ass and give u a deal. Good job by the mayor helping out Beckham united, SOCCER IN MIAMI, MLS, and most importantly not pulling out or play games with Beckham.
    If other city councils could just be open about soccer stadiums in MLS, just like they support huge nfl stadiums with huge $ amounts.
    I’m proud of MLS owners who say, we are paying for the majority of the stadium or the whole amount. In nfl and nba, they cry for so many tax breaks and public funding and DOWNTOWN LOCATION.
    hopefully in the future, Chicago, fc Dallas, crew, New England, will take action by upgrading their stadium or even taking it downtown.

    • LeaveAReply says:

      I think Becks & Co need to float in the press the unconfirmed report that they’ll scuttle the franchise altogether, or consider Tampa Bay instead. Let it appear that no development is being made for several months, then as a sort of last resort half heartedly entertain the second location with the caveat that things from the city’s standpoint (environmental reports and such) need to be done quickly to meet 2017 deadline. He needs to appear to still be fighting for Port Miami. When Becks relent, the 2nd option will have swiftly for him, and will little opposition. His development team on the ground in Miami need to suggest that they are being run out of town. Does anyone know what a skyline shot will look like at the 2nd location next to Amer Airlines arena?

      • White Kix says:

        He could really sell the Tampa Bay thing too. The NHL Lightning are ran by Todd Lieweike, the man who was running the Seahawks when they launched, and is also Tim’s brother, who was running AEG when Beckham was with LA. So there is already someonw in Tampa who know Beckham and ran the most succesful MLS expansion launch in history. On top of that, Jeff Vink, who owns the Lightning, also bought up a lot of empty downtown realestate over the last few years, so the stadium could be easier to get built.

  7. slowleftarm says:

    What can Miami people tell us about these proposed new locations?

    • EQeki says:

      If you link to the actual article, all the miami people are having the debate in the comment section

      • Bac says:

        And one awesome sarcastic comment..
        “Maybe they could share it with UM football, except UM would have trouble filling the 25,000 seats”

    • BL says:

      It is actually a better location than the port. The port of Miami means you will need to deal with South Beach traffic. The mayor’s proposed site is only about 1.5 miles from the Port location but much more convenient for everyone to get to (whether comeing from South Beach, South Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc). It is in an area that is/has been revitalized and would be perfect (it is where they should have put Marlin’s stadium). Lets hope it happens.

  8. NICK says:

    Any body have a good idea how big is this land that the Mayor is proposing.

    • Kodi says:

      Just took a look at the slip on google earth. Its about 1100 feet long and 300 feet wide. I have no earthly clue what the costs of filling the land would be. Nor the environmental implications. Not familiar with Florida laws but I’m sure an environmental impact statement would be generated then approved to move forward.

      • NICK says:

        Basically Becks is stuck.

      • Sharkbait says:

        It’s actually a man-made slip so should be easier to get the necessary government red tape over with than it might otherwise have been. That’s how I read that article linked above anyway. Also the same article pegged the price to fill it in at around $15-16 million.

      • EQeki says:

        The Golden State warriors had a waterfront stadium proposal in San Francisco just recently voted down and the cost to fill was estimated at $100 million

  9. joe says:

    So whats up with Yanks-abroad.com? Anyone.

    • Dace says:

      Not sure if Go Daddy owned the name first or if they just bought it the second it became available, but the domain was paid through 5/5, so today it’s down.

    • EQeki says:

      Ill bet you Brian Sciaretta is launching a new website under a new domain name.

      Seems like everyone is gearing up for the World Cup. Even Ussoccer.com changed their website but it still sucks

  10. Bach's Thumb says:

    “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.

    —–

    Piss-off you lying sack of sh*t.

  11. Nick in LA says:

    So I guess enough palms were greased for this site to be ok? I mean, I guess this parcel of land wasn’t promised to anyone’s cronies for a sweet deal yet?

  12. bryan says:

    this isn’t terrible news. if that alliance is already saying they would be 100% with this new location, that’s a positive. honestly, the only negative seems to be the fact they would have to essentially create that land. no clue how much that costs, but i’m sure it would not be cheap.

    sounds like a good location though. i’d like to see a report on what it would take to do it there as well as a mock up. i’m assuming they would just fill in the area with the water and then make the whole area a stadium/park? mind you, i’m using google maps to check out the area. seems like most of the area is already land anyway. still downtown, still water front, and right next to the other stadium.

    • bryan says:

      pretty interesting to note that, “those improvements would have increased the value of the site to $42.7 million,” and that was in 2000. might be worth it depending on the cost.

  13. NASL to El Paso tx says:

    Excuse me Vancouver whitecaps fans, i thought Vancity owner was or (is) loaded, why doesn’t the owner take action like Beckham for their water front stadium.
    As for Seattle and I know I will get attack by sounder fans, but can sounders remodel memorial stadium or demolish the city center or even approach the land that is or was for the new nba hockey arena.
    This one is for chicago fire, can the fire make a water front stadium or a stadium next to soldier field in the future, given that soccer stadiums in America are not that big.
    As for fc Dallas, if rrangers and cowboys thrive in Arlington, why not go to Arlington or downtown big d.

    • EQeki says:

      that also applies to the Earthquakes who bought land for a micky mouse stadium while the owner kept a prime location for a baseball team that will never be built

      • NASL to El Paso tx says:

        Thank god for owners like Beckham united and nycfc are going to set an example to all MLS owners in how to approach mayors and city council.
        MLS owners need to fight for MLS and soccer respect in their markets with their city council and mayor.
        Is not fair nfl and nba get their shiny new buildings and MLS owners need to get on their knees for land and ATTENTION.
        Another thing, espn outside the lines can do a full 30min report on how a soccer ball can give brain disease to a person, but not make a report on how soccer is not supported in America by sports reporters or sport networks. It’s so pathetic by espn, then they don’t support MLS, but can talk bad about the sport of soccer. Why not do a report on, do nba players get wrist diseases? or something, do tennis players get throat cancer by shouting every time they hit the ball? do golfers get lower back disease.
        Espn just made me hate them more and they just brainwash soccer youth and young parents who love soccer.

        • WhiteHart says:

          I’d say ESPN has been pretty front and center about the whole NFL Concussion thing, and concussion in sports in general.

          Also, it’s not ESPNs responsibility to promote soccer in the USA. They promote the crap out of the soccer that they have the rights to, but it doesn’t make sense for them to completely hype the premier league if they don’t have those games.

          I’d actually say over the last couple of years, the amount of attention soccer gets on ESPN has increased dramatically. They created a daily 30-minute show dedicated to soccer, regularly show highlights of top matches and derbys, and will regularly show top goals/saves in the “Top 10″ on Sportscenter.

          Could they do more.. sure.. but they are business and in the United States, as of now, NFL moves the needle more than anything, so whether it is in season or not, those are gonna be the majority of their stories.

          Oh, also completely forgot their “30for30″ Soccer Stories that is also dedicated only to showing soccer documentaries.

          My guess is ESPN doesn’t care about how soccer stadiums get built, because the average American doesn’t care.

  14. Stinky Pete says:

    My conspiracy theory: this is the actual site they wanted all along. They knew that there would be major opposition to it so Becks, his buddies, and the mayor all got together is some dark shady establishment (probably with a lot of cigarette smoke) and decided that they needed to create a diversion. So the mayor says “here’s what we do boys, you propose a stadium on Port Miami and then everyone will get up in arms against it, especially those cruise ship people whose brains don’t work properly anymore because they caught the Norwich virus one too many times while on cruises. Those crybabies will all be up in arms and they’ll create some bull$hit opposition group that will stir up a lot of attention. And then BAM!!! I propose the slip site and everyone is stunned and says “Ok I guess we could live with that.” Next thing you know Becks has a shiny new stadium right on the water, right downtown, and not on some island with a bunch of cruise ship companies whose brains have been impaired because of the Norwich virus.

    • Stinky Pete says:

      If my conspiracy theory is missing anything please feel free to add on.

      • NASL to El Paso tx says:

        Vancouver, Columbus, ,Boston, Seattle , and even fire and fc Dallas should all do that :) gotta work the magic
        Fu$k the nfl,nba, owners
        MLS owners need to stand up for their money and team.
        By the way, there is rumors our sister city from across the border in Juarez, chihuahua which is in Mexico, might get division 1 or division 2 soccer again by this year or next.
        I wonder if ligaMX would consider doing what MLS has done, like putting an MLS team in Canada but instead ligaMX puts a team in San Antonio or El Paso tx.

        • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

          Yo’ure ridiculous. Canada is a an exception. You ever Wonder if MLS would put a team in Juarez?…FMF wouldnt allow it. Ussoccer wouldnt allow it the other way around

  15. IndyElevenFan says:

    Gosh this post sounds familiar…where have I heard a mayor proposing new sites…hmmmm….

    Oh right…Washington, D.C. This sounds exactly like what the DC City Council has been doing to DCU for 20 years (it goes something like: well, we can’t do it there because of these objections, but how about this? A study is done. An election comes and goes. The probability of the site goes away. A new site is “chosen” and discussed. An election comes and goes. You see the cycle?)!