A second waterfront site for a new David Beckham MLS stadium — this one a disused boat slip — has been rejected by Miami officials, putting the search for a stadium site back to square one.
The David Beckham investment group, which includes American Idol creator Simon Fuller, has pitched city officials on two waterfront sites: the first on Port of Miami land and the second at the site of a boat slip north of American Airlines Arena. Lobbying from cruise-ship companies doomed the Port of Miami site, and opposition from Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado doomed the boat-slip site, despite support from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez:
“Given the uniqueness of this site, we agreed that this was just not the right place,” said City Manager Daniel Alfonso said.
“The slip is off the table,” Regalado said.
John Alschuler, Beckham’s real-estate adviser, said the group plans to take some time to consider its remaining options in light of the sudden setback.
“Our team’s going to pause,” he said. “They’re going to consider all alternatives and look forward to constructive engagement.”
City officials have not been shy about pushing Beckham and his group toward a new stadium at the former Orange Bowl site, where there’s room to build a stadium near the Miami Marlins ballpark in Little Havana. That site has already been rejected more than once by the Beckham team. And there is the fact that the city might be looking a little too closely at that gift horse’s mouth: the Beckham group is not seeking public subsidies and will privately finance what’s considered to be a $250-million facility.