Miami rejects David Beckham's waterfront soccer stadium
By Kevin Gray and David Adams
MIAMI (Reuters) - David Beckham's bid for a Major League Soccer team suffered a setback on Tuesday when the city of Miami rejected his plan to build a downtown waterfront stadium on a site next to the Miami Heat basketball arena.
Beckham's business group, Beckham Miami United, issued a statement saying city officials determined the proposed site was an "inappropriate location."
The statement said Beckham's group would "spend the coming months weighing alternatives" in the city.
Beckham has traveled frequently to Miami in the last few months to explore the creation of an MLS franchise and has stressed the importance of a downtown stadium location. It was the second waterfront site proposed by Beckham's group to run into local resistance.
The group headed by the former England, Manchester United and Real Madrid star needs to ink a stadium deal before it can win final approval for the franchise from MLS, the top professional league in the United States.
Scrutiny of sports stadium deals has risen sharply in Miami after $500 million in public funding was spent to build a new stadium for the Miami Marlins baseball team.
Public anger over the Marlins Park deal contributed to a 2011 recall vote that ousted former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez from office.
The Miami Heat's arena deal with Miami-Dade County has also come in for public criticism as being too generous to the team, which is owned by Micky Arison, the billionaire owner of Carnival cruise line. Continued...