David Beckham’s dreams of launching a MLS team in Miami were dealt a major blow today after his Option B for a stadium location, the boat slip and park next to American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami, was vetoed by Miami’s mayor.
This is the second stadium location that Beckham and his group have been denied approval. The first was PortMiami, which was opposed by cruise line company Royal Caribbean. Then, Miami Beckham United shifted its resources to the boat slip adjacent to Miami Heat’s arena. However, “the slip is off the table” revealed Mayor Tomas Regalado to The Miami Herald newspaper.
John Alschuler, Beckham’s real-estate advisor, now has to find a third option for Beckham and his investors.
According to multiple sources, there are still four options on the table for Beckham and his group. However, the most realistic option would be the land next to Marlins Park in Little Havana, which Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez publicly endorses.
Other pieces of real estate that could be considered include land near Miami International Airport, a parcel just north of the Dolphin Expressway, and land in Wynwood.
“Miami Beckham United presented a financial offer that included a privately funded stadium, fair payments for the use of the land, and zero City or County dollars. The Mayor and City Manager considered the proposal to be generous, though no negotiations took place,” said Miami Beckham United in a statement released just after the announcement.
“Mayor Regalado and the City Manager expressed their strong desire to bring professional soccer to Miami and their deep respect for David Beckham and his partners,” the statement continued. “Miami Beckham United will spend the coming months weighing alternatives.”
Despite the land near Marlins Park being the easiest and most logical option, Beckham’s business partner Simon Fuller says the land is “spiritually tainted” due to the public financing deal of Marlins Park that could cost Miami residents upwards of $1.18 billion. However, it appears that the land in Little Havana is currently the only piece of real estate that any Miami-Dade commissioner supports.
This saga has just reached a new low. And with the news that the Minnesota Vikings are going to pursue an MLS franchise, it’s possible that Miami may not ultimately even be awarded the 23rd MLS franchise due to its inability to find a stadium location.
The saga continues.