Miami-Dade mayors line up to oppose David Beckham’s stadium plan

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Mayors of 11 Miami-Dade County cities have joined the opposition a Major League Soccer stadium on the Miami waterfront proposed by superstar David Beckham.

The Miami Herald reports that elected officials, including the mayors of Homestead, Coral Gables and North Miami Beach, co-signed a letter from the Miami Seaport Alliance saying a PortMiami stadium will hurt jobs, reduce security and impede cruise and cargo operations.

“We believe united, we can help quash this terrible idea of a stadium at PortMiami, a maritime industrial port and a major economic driver of our community,” according to a letter issued by Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, written on behalf of the Seaport Alliance.

MacDougal, currently running in South Miami-Dade for Congress as a Republican, spearheaded a similar effort last year against the short-lived Miami Dolphin stadium renovation plans where a part of the funds would be paid  by taxpayers.

The discussion this time is over what would be the best use for PortMiami’s southwest corner, a section too shallow for cruise or cargo ships. Previously, there were plans to develop it into a massive office and commercial complex, but that also faced resistance from several Miami interests arguing the land of the county-owned port would pose unfair completion with the mainland.

Beckham and his group are currently negotiating with the administration of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez over a planned port site.

Both the retired English soccer star and the mayor tell the Herald that, without any specifics, it is too soon to either support or oppose the idea. On Wednesday, both sides will debate the issue at an event hosted by the Downtown Bay Forum.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.