Beckham’s stadium clashes with PortMiami plan

Proposed seaport site part of larger development strategy
February 17, 2014 10:00AM

PortMiami and David Beckham

Since the possibility of David Beckham bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami emerged, PortMiami has been offered up as the likeliest setting for a stadium.

But Beckham’s stadium might not be the elixir for the financially-challenged seaport, which has debt escalating toward $1 billion. The potential 9-acre stadium site at the southwest corner of PortMiami is part of a larger plan for a trade and tourism center that could bring up to 7 million square feet in commercial space to the seaport, the Miami Herald reported. The proposal has faced significant opposition from Miami’s commercial real estate sector.

Moody’s downgraded PortMiami’s credit rating last fall. The seaport would hand over about 25 percent of the potential commercial development site if Miami-Dade County officials finalize a stadium deal with Beckham’s investment group there.

“The conversation about soccer has never been just about soccer,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Herald. “If a stadium can be a catalyst to development, we’re interested.” [Miami Herald]Eric Kalis