Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has stepped into the middle of the dispute between soccer owner David Beckham and the PortMiami crowd fighting a possible stadium in the area.
Mayor Giminez proposed a different location than the current Beckham preferred site at PortMiami that would be created by filing a large boat slip between Museum Park and the AmericanAirlines Arena. The filled in area would then hold the new soccer-specific stadium for Beckham’s Major League Soccer team.
“You have sports, recreation, culture, arts, all within walking distance of each other and will be a great open park,” Gimenez told NBC 6’s Hank Tester about the alternative stadium site.
Several groups have come out against using the PortMiami site for a new stadium, most notably Royal Caribbean Cruises. Royal Caribbean would have been located next door to the planned PortMiami stadium.
Beckham’s group said it has been focused on the port, but that the new site is an “exciting possibility.”
“Now, we need to examine it, see if it is feasible and understand the costs,” said John Alschuler.
Lots of regulatory hoops and $12-14 million are needed to fill the slip. The Beckham group would pay for the filling in of the area. Beckham has promised to build the new stadium with private funds, and also won a state subsidy in the legislative session that ended last Friday.
Gimenez just wants Beckham’s group to give the new location some time for evaluation.
“So for them, it fits their needs. For us, it fits our needs because we get a better park, better open space, and greater access to the water,” Gimenez said.
Beckham’s group was given two weeks to look into the plan proposed by Gimenez.