Though a David Beckham stadium plan wasn’t directly on the Miami-Dade County Commission agenda yesterday, a discussion of Port of Miami finances indicates some direct opposition from commissioners.
The issue: the relocation of a fuel-spill facility, currently located on the potential site of a new MLS stadium within the Port of Miami. David Beckham and his investors are proposing a new stadium at the Port of Miami, along with entertainment and restaurant options. Other developers and corporations, including Royal Caribbean, are also eying the port land for further development, including hotel, retail and office space.
But the indication from Miami-Dade County commissioners is that they’re not in favor of any changes to the port layout that would accommodate a soccer stadium. From the Miami Herald:
“I think there’s a sentiment that it should not be in play,’’ Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo said of the port as a soccer option. “There may be a majority on this commission who do not want it in play.”
Beckham’s side did not get a chance to speak Tuesday, though one of the soccer star’s lobbyists spent the entire day in commission chambers. The discussion danced around the soccer question as commissioners questioned whether to approve a relocation option for the fuel-spill facility that would let port officials move the warehouse at a cost of $6 million.
Port officials want the proposed stadium site for a new commercial complex, despite opposition from downtown Miami brokers and developers warning of a glutted office market. Juan Kuryla, who took over as port director this week from Bill Johnson, said the plan was to exercise the relocation option only if the port had a developer ready to reimburse Miami-Dade the cost of moving Marine Spill Response Corp.
Of course, the Port of Miami isn’t the only potential location for an MLS stadium; it’s one of five under consideration. But it certainly has the potential to have the biggest impact: nothing says Miami more than a waterfront location with a downtown view, cruise ships nearby and a nice breeze coming off the ocean.