David Beckham addresses opposition to proposed PortMiami stadium location: "I like challenges"
Plans for David Beckham’s shiny new soccer stadium drew plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” when they were released Monday morning.
But the location of the glitzy, open-air stadium that frames sweeping views of the Miami skyline to house Beckham's newly awarded MLS franchise is drawing some criticism. The targeted location in PortMiami, which hosts the world’s busiest cruise ship terminal, is the source of the opposition, which Beckham addressed Monday evening on NBC Miami.
Royal Caribbean Cruises, whose headquarters are located at the port, has expressed concern about the proposed stadium, citing traffic concerns and its own plans to develop the land the Beckham group hopes to lease for the stadium, Reuters reported.
“I’ve never left a stadium where there wasn’t any traffic,” Beckham said. “I’m sure there will be some kind of legislation, and it’s something we have to work with."
And it's work that Beckham is determined to put in, along with making some new friends in the process.
“I don’t want to be an enemy with the people that oppose the stadium,” he said. “I want to work with them because this is going to be positive for Miami. Ultimately, when you sit at the stadium, you will see the skyline. When a game is played at the stadium, it will not only be seen in America, but it will be seen worldwide.”
Funding for the $200 million project is being provided privately by the Beckham-led group, but they must receive approval from the Miami-Dade County Commission. Plans for the stadium, which also include a hotel, public park, retail space and a tiered plaza, were released Monday to spark public support.
“For me, Miami is all about the weather and its culture,” Beckham said. “I don’t think people see that enough.”
Beckham said his group will next visit the state capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday to continue their push for support.
“I like challenges, and it’s something I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “We want to be treated just like any other sports franchise in the state.”