Mayor to Beckham: consider the downtown waterfront

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and David Beckham
Mayor Carlos Gimenez and David Beckham

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has asked Miami soccer stadium investors, including David Beckham, to consider the downtown waterfront instead PortMiami as the site for a 25,000-seat, open-air arena.

Gimenez proposed converting a large boat slip between Museum Park and AmericanAirlines Arena, according to the Miami Herald. The mayor added that enough new land could be create by filling the slip to include a pedestrian walkway along Biscayne Bay.

“Downtown Miami will greatly benefit from the creation of a grand waterfront park that will serve to bring our urban core closer to the water, providing a magnificent bay front walk along Biscayne Bay,” Gimenez wrote in a letter late Monday to Beckham’s real-estate adviser, Miami Beckham United.

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Until recently, PortMaimi had been the focus of the negotiations, and the new formal request from the mayor could radically shift the direction of the privately funded project.

“Our goal from the outset has been to create a great fan experience, to provide an economic asset that creates jobs, and design a stadium that communicates the energy of Miami to the entire world,” the group said. “The Port is a strong site; however, a stadium next to AmericanAirlines Arena is an exciting possibility.” [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron