The first proposed site for the stadium that will host Miami's future MLS franchise has been ruled out by Miami-Dade County commissioners, leaving David Beckham and Co. focused on a deep-water boat slip adjacent to American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami.
The commissioners voted 11-1 on Tuesday against the proposed stadium site at PortMiami, which had drawn the opposition of Royal Caribbean Cruises, who are headquartered next to the waterfront site.
County officials also made clear that the new MLS venue was still welcome, just not in that particular location.
“It’s unfair to give Mr. Beckham and his group any hope that things could happen in a place that has so many negatives,” said commission chairwoman Rebeca Sosa.
Added commissioner Jean Monestime: “Soccer will keep Miami on the map, will add value to Miami.”
Beckham's ownership group announced on Monday that the alternate site, called the Florida East Coast Railway slip, was now the main priority after the PortMiami proposal drew opposition from Royal Caribbean and others. The slip comes with its own set of complications, however: It would need to be filled in at substantial cost, and is owned by the city of Miami, rather than Dade County, and could thus require a land swap or similar arrangement.
“I realize that no matter where this stadium goes, there’s going to be some objectors,” said commissioner Audrey Edmonson.