[MLS EXPANSION]You know MLS stadium plans for Miami are not being positioned well when the local television news segment begins, "The fight over bringing MLS to South Florida ..."
Opponents to David Beckham's proposal for a 25,000-seat stadium include Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who doesn't oppose MLS coming to Miami, just not to PortMiami.
At Wednesday's Miami Beach town hall, residents opposing the PortMiami project were paraded out. Their beef? The heavy traffic that will clog the already congested MacArthur Causeway connecting Miami Beach to downtown Miami.
The wild card in all of this is the impact -- unknown -- of a new tunnel from downtown Miami to PortMiami. Beckham's traffic experts told the Miami Herald the tunnel will be able handle game-day traffic without causing backups on to the MacArthur Causeway. In face of opposition to the stadium project, some residents suggested that Miami Beach officials at least have an open mind about the project until the tunnel opens.
The Miami Herald reported that Levine owns a media company that works exclusively with Royal Caribbean, which opposes the Port Miami stadium proposal.
"Our issue, for us, is how it affects the residents of Miami Beach," Levine responded, saying his opposition to the project had nothing to do with his business ties.
Levine's mind is clearly made up, though. He drove home his opposition to the project, suggesting -- sarcastically -- that Beckham build his stadium between runaways at Miami International Airport.
“This proposal is fictitious," Levine said, "and clearly as ridiculous, impractical and illogical as putting the MLS stadium in PortMiami.”