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Miami group takes out ad to oppose David Beckham’s waterfront stadium

Apr 15, 2014, 7:20 AM EDT

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As New York City FC faces struggles to find a brand new home for its club in the Big Apple, there are forces aligning in Miami to oppose David Beckham’s plans to build a soccer-specific joint on the waterfront.

The Miami Seaport Alliance, a music group featuring Gloria Estefan and Billy Ocean group of businesses with other desires for the waterfront, has gone public with a full-page ad in the Miami Herald denouncing Beckham’s ideas.

From SkySports:

“We cannot jeopardise well-paying jobs, like crane operators, longshore workers, and mechanics, for low-paying stadium jobs, such as concession sales,” the Miami Seaport Alliance said in a full-page ad in the Miami Herald.

The opposing group is led by John Fox, former head of governmental affairs at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and high-profile car dealer Norman Braman, the one-time owner of Philadelphia Eagles.

There’s certainly a feel of requested pay-offs here, and all reports have been that the civic backing is on Beckham’s side here (given his desire to pay for the stadium with private money). It’ll also be interesting to see where the backlash falls here, not to mention whether these big dollars are enough to fight Beckham’s big dollars.

However, the included quote from someone in Beckham’s camp does seem to fit into common sense as to how a stadium fits into the scheme of Miami’s financial future (though undoubtedly it’s not black and white):

“The plan doesn’t interfere with port operations. It will likely generate more revenue for the port in the shorter term than other concepts that have been discussed.”

The key word for opponents is short-term.

  1. talgrath - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    The idiocy is astounding here. A little extra traffic one to two times a week will not cause problems for the port, hell I live in Seattle and every game day for NFL or MLS games there’s a lot of traffic in the areas around the port as people flood in to watch the games, not a gripe to be had. Hell, the games are usually on Saturdays and Sundays, days that are traditionally quieter for ports.

    • lyleoross - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Wouldn’t the question be where the stadium is being built? I find it hard to believe that anyone would think this was a traffic issue. Everything in the article suggests that port jobs are being lost due to a loss of port facilities, i.e. they are building the stadium where the port is currently located. The reason being that a waterfront venue has cache. Sad to think that they couldn’t build the stadium in a blighted area where the jobs, as minimal and poor as they are, would still be a step up for someone who is unemployed.

      The really amazing thing is that they guys who are most likely to want to attend soccer games, and are able to afford it, are the guys working those port jobs. Jeez DB, a little thought please.

      • amarti85 - Apr 15, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        Just to clarify (I’m from Miami and know this area well), they are not looking to build the stadium on the port. They are looking to build the stadium on land the port currently owns, but does not really use (I think there’s some overflow parking). There is literally $0 in revenue generated by these 9 acres. All port activities occur immediately east of this area.

        So, yes, the area has more cache than, say, Overtown, where the old Miami Arena used to be located and was actually (is still?) an option for a stadium. It’s actually not a bad location, 1/2 block from the Metrorail, with views of Downtown (but not the water), and fits the blighted neighborhood. At the same time, Overtown is only about 1.5 miles from the port site, easy to get to, so I actually think the same location that would benefit from jobs at the Overtown site would benefit from the port site. So, that being equal, might as well go for cache.

        Although I do think the Overtown site, or, Museum Park, also in the area, should be the backup plan.

      • talgrath - Apr 15, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        Well, they specifically list port activities being disrupted by the stadium as the problem; the only thing I can think of is traffic; currently the land isn’t being used and it’s in an area that is too shallow for large ships to dock.

  2. jackbauer5575 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    “We cannot jeopardise well-paying jobs, like crane operators, longshore workers, and mechanics, for low-paying stadium jobs, such as concession sales,

    what he really means is “We cant jeopardize UNION jobs, for NON-UNION jobs. Politics per usual

  3. mazblast - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    “Becks” and his fellow shallow-but-pretty people would NEVER consider being seen watching a sport in a place as, well, plebeian, even low-class, as Overtown. No, their stadium must be where the pretty people will be safe and kept away from the commoners, where their limos will be protected and not have to travel where mere mortals drive.

    My understanding is that the land belongs to the city, but by law must be used for port purposes. I don’t think football qualifies, but I’m sure there’s a bought-and-paid-for lawyer who will argue otherwise.

    BTW, which franchise will be given a title first–Beckham’s pretty people Miami franchise or the new New York one? My friends, while used to David Stern’s NBA and its Designated Winners, are divided on this subject.

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