David Beckham’s plans for building a MLS stadium at the Port Of Miami have come undone, according to a source familiar with the developments. The source considers the Port Of Miami/Watson Island project as “highly problematic” due to traffic considerations, potential parking hassles and the possible long-term need to expand the Port of Miami.
The source added that the concerns are shared by a number of Miami-Dade Commissioners as well, but that locations in Midtown, the Design District and on Miami Beach were being “strongly considered” instead.
The State of Florida has just spent millions of dollars on expansion of the Port of Miami and the building of a tunnel into the cargo area of the Port. In recent years, Port Everglades up the road in Fort Lauderdale has taken much of Miami’s cruise and cargo business. The building of a soccer stadium in the Port area, while desirable, could deny the city and county the ability to expand services at the facility if needed in the future.
As far as Midtown Miami, I’ve been informed that multiple sites in the area are being considered. And while the political leadership is committed to helping Beckham and his partners with the necessary permitting and assistance for a stadium, no tax dollars will be spent on the venue.
My source also indicated that with regards to temporary venues before the permanent stadium is built, many had expressed to Beckham’s group to “look elsewhere” before committing to Marlins Park. I’ve been informed that many of the local Miami political establishment feels burnt by the Marlins Stadium debacle and would like to see Beckham’s team avoid using Jeffrey Loria’s facility, if possible.
It was reiterated that the team will eventually call either the city of Miami or Miami Beach home. While temporary venues may be used outside the two cities, the soccer specific stadium that will be built to meet MLS requirements will either be close to Downtown Miami or be on Miami Beach.
Editor’s note: For the latest developments regarding David Beckham’s MLS team, visit the Miami MLS team page.