Opposition to David Beckham’s plans to build a new football stadium in Miami reached a new high on Tuesday.
Beckham, who has been given exclusive rights to start a Major League Soccer (MLS) club in Miami, wants to build a 25,000-capacity stadium in the city’s port.
But an alliance of port-based companies and interest groups have come together to oppose the plan and purchased full-page advertisements in Miami’s daily newspapers on Tuesday claiming the stadium would reduce the port’s productivity.
“We cannot jeopardise well-paying jobs, like crane operators, longshore workers, and mechanics, for low-paying stadium jobs, such as concession sales,” the advertisement read.
While the alliance’s ad maintained they ‘wholeheartedly support’ the idea of an MLS club in Miami, the opponents believe Beckham and his representatives could find a better location for the stadium.
John Fox, a former vice-president of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, which is based in Miami, has been one of the alliance’s lead spokesmen.
“What the alliance thinks is that port property should be used for port purposes,” Fox said.
Norman Braman, a Miami-based billionaire car dealer, told the Miami Herald: “There are plenty of other places for the stadium to be.”
But one of Beckham’s advisors, property developer John Alschuler, said the alliance’s opposition is based on a lack of understanding and knowledge.
“People are responding to speculation,” Alschuler said.
“I’ve got confidence that (MLS) commissioners, when presented with a formal recommendation by the mayor – and a full, factual briefing – will respond to the facts.”