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Apr 15, 2014

Beckham waterfront stadium opposed

David Beckham's plans for a waterfront stadium to house his new MLS franchise in PortMiami are facing opposition.

An alliance opposed to the stadium -- including John Fox, a retired employee of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and billionaire car dealer Norman Braman -- ran an advertisement in Monday's editions of the Miami Herald and the El Nuevo Herald that was critical of the proposed stadium.

The most eye-catching of David Beckham's proposed stadium locations is facing opposition from local businesses.

The ad, entitled "Here We Go Again," asserts that the stadium would jeopardize well-paid shipping jobs in exchange for lower-paid employment in stadium concessions and ticket sales.

“The Alliance wholeheartedly supports a soccer franchise in Miami and believes there are other sites that would benefit greatly from a stadium,” the ad said. “However, PortMiami is not one of them, due to the risks a port stadium would pose to jobs, cruise and cargo operations, security, and the port’s promising future.”

Beckham's vision for the PortMiami park is centered around a 25,000-seat stadium with views of downtown Miami. The $200 million price tag to develop the 36-acre space includes plans for shops, hotels and offices connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge.

"I think, for me, Miami is all about the water, all about the culture and I don't think people see that enough," Beckham told NBCMiami.com back in March. "Our stadium, our site is all about the skyline, all about the water and it opens up to that. That's what we want people to see all around the world."

But Royal Caribbean, whose headquarters are in the port, had come out in opposition to the plan previously saying, in part, that there are better and more lucrative ways to use the space. This is the first time any sort of coalition has voiced concerns over the plan.

John Alschuler, a real-estate adviser to Beckham said on Monday he's confident that Miami commissioners will respond positively to the facts of the situation rather than basing their opinions on "speculation."

“I’ve got confidence that commissioners, when presented with a formal recommendation by the mayor -- and a full, factual briefing -- will respond to the facts," Alschuler told the Miami Herald.

This conversation about the waterfront location could turn out to be moot, according to Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez. He told reporters on Monday that this is just one of four sites under consideration and that nothing is concrete and no recommendation to the county commissioners is pending.

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