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Jun 10, 2014

Miami rejects Beckham stadium plans

David Beckham's ownership group is facing opposition to placing a stadium in Miami.

The city of Miami on Tuesday rejected David Beckham's proposal to build a Major League Soccer stadium on a downtown site.

Beckham's group wanted to build the stadium for the MLS expansion franchise on a deep-water boat slip, but mayor Tomás Regalado said "the slip is off the table," the Miami Herald reported.

The mayor suggested building near the Miami Marlins' baseball stadium in Little Havana, but John Alschuler, Beckham's real-estate adviser, said the group will take time to decide which location it will pursue next after Regalado and city manager Daniel Alfonso became the latest politicians to oppose stadium plans.

The group had previously eyed a corner of PortMiami, but it was opposed by the Miami-Dade County Commission.

On the boat-slip plan, which Regalado originally favored, Alschuler had offered to pay $2 million a year, double what the NBA's Miami Heat pay the county to play nearby at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"Given the uniqueness of this site, we agreed that this was just not the right place," Alfonso said, according to the Herald.

Any deal would have to be put before voters by the city commission, but downtown commissioner Marc Sarnoff rejected Beckham personally on Saturday.

"I told him I support soccer in Miami. I supported soccer at the port -- I still do," Sarnoff told the Herald. "I'm pleased that the FEC [slip] is off the table. Now, what we need to do as a government is ensure that we look for alternate sites for Beckham to have a soccer stadium in Miami."

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