David Beckham's plans to build a brand new 25,000-seater stadium has been met with strong opposition from local businesses.
Beckham recently announced that he would be paying $25 million in order to start up his own Major League Soccer franchise, thanks to a clause inserted into his contract while at LA Galaxy.
The former Manchester United star opted to base his team in Miami, and has set a projected 2016/17 deadline, by which he hopes the team will be ready to play – as long as he has secured them a suitable stadium.
Last month, prototype images were released by Beckham's camp, which shows a rounded, open-air stadium located next to the Miami port.
John Alschuler, a representative of Beckham, stated that “the port of Miami is the right place because it will create a great stadium, it will energize downtown, it will create jobs and economic value.”
Beckham and his investors also plan to build a number of shops, restaurants, nightclubs and venues within the surrounding area.
However, since its inception, Beckham's proposed stadium has received criticism from a number of different organisations.
Local officials have reportedly stated a belief that the area would not be able to handle the increased traffic levels, as the area is already home to the world-famous Miami Heat basketball team.
The biggest critics, however, are the 'Miami Seaport Alliance', who recently splashed out $25,000 to feature an open letter to the Miami community within two well-known newspapers.
While the group do admit that “a Major League Soccer franchise would be a great addition”, they strongly oppose plans to place the team on the Miami waterside.
The letter states: “we cannot support locating a stadium at PortMiami due to the risks it would pose to jobs, cruise and cargo operations.”
“PortMiami is Miami-Dade County's second-largest economic engine after tourism contributing $27 billion annually to the local economy and supporting more than 207,000 jobs in South Florida.”
“Even the hint of a disruptive, non-port operation – such as a stadium – could put thousands of jobs at risk”.
Beckham has yet to decide on a final location, with four potential areas on the radar, each of which would cost an estimated $200m to develop.
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