Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Miami waterfront soccer stadium: let voters decide?
by Paul Kennedy, May 17th, 2014 9:32PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  atlanta mls, miami mls, mls, soccer business


[MLS EXPANSION] It may come down to the voters of Miami-Dade County or the City of Miami to decide whether a waterfront soccer stadium is built by David Beckham's group seeking MLS's 23rd club.

Miami mayor Tomas Regalado says a referendum will be required and Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez says a referendum should be held if Miami Beckham United seeks to go ahead with plans to build a waterfront stadium.

The Miami site is a city-owned deep-water basin known as the Florida East Coast Railway slip. The Miami-Dade site is at PortMiami’s southwest corner. A city referendum is required for a waterfront city property to be developed. County approval by voters is not required, but it is politically expedient.

“I know that there are a lot of commissioners that would like that,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald. “I think that, at the end, the people’s voice should be heard.”

After Marlins Park, the home of the baseball Marlins was built in Little Havana, with public financing but without a referendum, County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas were recalled. The Marlins Park is such a political issue that Gimenez has refused to attend a game there. Beckham's group won't consider a site for its soccer stadium next to Marlins Park for fear the soccer project will be tainted by the issues that have surrounded the baseball stadium.

Regalado supports a referendum as a way to get the green light from his voters for a soccer stadium. “We should not lose Beckham and his project -- everybody agrees on that,” Regalado told the Herald this week.

Unlike Marlins Park, the Beckham group would pay for the construction of the 25,000-seat stadium estimated to cost about $250 million at the port. The benefit of building on county land is that it won't have to pay property taxes. That might not be true on city property. In either case, Beckham's group will seek annual sales tax rebates available following the passage of legislation supporting future sports stadium projects.

Regalado also agreed that debate over the stadium plans should not drag on. A large ad campaign against the PortMiami project has been waged by interests tied to the cargo and cruise industries, but the Herald's PolitiFact watchdog group operating in conjunction with the Tampa Tribune declared as "false" the assertions of the ads that the soccer stadium would threaten 207,000 jobs and $27 billion economic impact tied to these port industries.

PolitiFact ruling:

"The numbers come from a study that states the jobs related to the port are all over Florida. The ad is careful in its wording about the jobs because it states the jobs are “tied” to the cargo and cruise industries, but then it talks about jobs at PortMiami such as crane operators who could be replaced by stadium peanut sellers — which could create the impression that these are all direct jobs at the port, and that’s not the case. A soccer stadium at the port would certainly lead to some changes at the port — and cruise operators are concerned about how that could change their operations. But at this point, there is no evidence that a stadium would threaten the port jobs or economic activity."

VIVA LAS VEGAS? The Las Vegas city council will hear a request on Wednesday to extend the  deadline on a development agreement between the Cordish Companies and the City of Las Vegas that expires May 31. The agreement is to build a downtown sports stadium at Symphony Park. Findlay Sports and Entertainment has joined the Cordish Companies and announced plans to build a 24,000-seat soccer stadium that have been well received by Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, who called them "really, really exciting." The two developers recently met with MLS to discuss their plans.

“We recently met with Justin Findlay and Blake Cordish at the MLS League office in New York and were very impressed with their vision to pursue building a new soccer stadium and acquiring an MLS expansion club for Las Vegas,” MLS Deputy Commissioner and President Mark Abbott said in a statement to the Las Vegas Sun. “We look forward to continuing discussions as they work to further develop their plans with Mayor Goodman and the City of Las Vegas.”

UPDATED ATLANTA NUMBERS. Atlanta's Founder’s Club has reached 3,637 members who have pledged to purchase 10,510 season tickets, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The $50 fee to become a member is refundable. The club, which plans to begin play in 2017, is seeking its first hire: club president. Headhunting firm Korn Ferry has been retained to help in the job search.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: May 18, 2014 at 10:42 a.m.
    I despise the term "headhunting" for recruitment positions and firms.
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: May 18, 2014 at 4:08 p.m.
    If it goes to public vote in Miami it's over. Miami voters. Are not sports fans and definitely not soccer fans. They feel burned by the Marlins stadium
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: May 19, 2014 at 1:29 a.m.
    It certainly is appropriate for voters/residents to have a say. I hope cruise ship companies don't stymie the project. Maybe Cubans prefer baseball, but I believe there are many other Central American people in Miami- Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and for all I know S Americans as well, all of whom support soccer. Even plain old garden variety Americans such as myself!

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Georgia teen Reuben Nsemoh    
"My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me. I wasn't perfect, ...
U.S. Abroad: Pulisic rescues Borussia Dortmund    
Christian Pulisic came off the bench to set up one goal and score the tying goal ...
Lauren Holiday recovering after successful surgery    
Former U.S. national team star Lauren Holiday is recovering after having successful surgery at Duke University ...
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives