Miami-Dade mayors oppose new MLS waterfront stadium

Proposed Miami MLS Stadium

Several Miami-Dade County mayors have come out in opposition to a new MLS stadium at the Port of Miami, arguing that shipping should be the emphasis on the waterfront instead of a David Beckham-backed facility.

Beckham and his investment firm have pitched a new waterfront stadium on currently unused land at the Port of Miami, which hosts cruise ships coming in and out of the city. Cruise lines are major employers in Miami and carry some political clout, and with Royal Caribbean putting forth its own plans for development on the site, the county and port officials have some important decisions to make.

The anti-MLS forces have been gathering in recent weeks. More recently, 11 county mayors signed a petition opposing the stadium, per CBS Miami:

The group who opposes a Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami announced Wednesday, they have now produced a petition signed by 11 mayors  who oppose a port stadium.

Among them are leaders of Miami Beach, Homestead, Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables and Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall.

“I think it’s more about taxpayer’s property that needs to be put to a better use, left to cargo and jobs,” said MacDougall.

To be clear, this really isn’t about keeping Port of Miami pristine for shipping (it’s fairly useless to service big ships because of the shallow waters), it’s about keeping the land open for a Royal Caribbean development. That’s fine: Royal Caribbean is a major employer in the area, and there’s no reason there shouldn’t be a healthy debate on the issue. But this isn’t a jobs issue: it’s a local political issue.

RELATED STORIES: Miami-Dade Commissioners not enthusiastic about Beckham stadium plan; Beckham stadium financing good deal for Miami-Dade County?; Look here! Beckham stadium plans unveiled; Beckham’s Miami MLS stadium: allies and opponents

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