David Beckham unveils proposal for waterfront Miami soccer stadium

Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:18pm EDT
 
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - A group led by English soccer star David Beckham unveiled plans on Monday to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium on Miami's waterfront for the Major League Soccer team he will own, but the proposal is already facing some opposition.

The open-air stadium would be built in an area known as PortMiami, which hosts the world's busiest cruise ship terminal. Long-term plans for the island port have never included the possibility of being home to a sports arena, port officials have said.

PortMiami Director Bill Johnson declined to comment on the stadium proposal.

"The important part for us is getting everybody on side, getting everybody to realize why we want to bring the team here, and why we want to have the stadium in a certain place," Beckham told reporters in Miami.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, whose headquarters are located at the port, has expressed concern about the proposed stadium, citing traffic concerns and its own plans to develop the land the Beckham group hopes to lease for the stadium.

"We have shared our serious reservations about the suitability of PortMiami as a location for a stadium," Cynthia Martinez, Royal Caribbean's director for global corporate communications, wrote in an e-mail on Monday.

Development of the 36-acre (14.5 hectare) stadium site would cost about $200 million and include shops, hotels and offices connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge, according to John Alschuler, Beckham's New York-based real-estate adviser.

Beckham's group is not looking for public financing, but must negotiate site plans with Miami-Dade County.   Continued...

 
This image courtesy of Miami Beckham United shows an artist rendering of a proposed stadium for a Major League Soccer (MLS) team backed by retired English soccer star David Beckham of the group's preferred location for the arena seated in between Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami, Florida in this handout image released on March 24, 2014. REUTERS/360 Architecture and Arquitectonica/Handout via Reuters