Soccer superstar David Beckham will head to Tallahassee, Florida Tuesday, in an attempt to garner some state subsidies for his proposed soccer stadium to be built at PortMiami, the busiest cruise ship port in the world. Beckham also seeks to bring his image and team to the city as part of the development proposal.
Royal Caribbean, the second largest cruise line in the world, opposes Beckham's plan, as the proposed site of 25,000-seat stadium would overlap the cruise line's corporate campus, which some executives see as being detrimental to operations.
During a press conference held at Miami-Dade College’s downtown campus, Beckham stated, “I want to change their minds. I don’t want to be an enemy to the people that are opposed to the stadium. I want to work with them.”
Beckham discussing Miami stadium funding:
When Beckham signed on with the LA Galaxy, there was a clause in his contract which would allow him to buy a franchise upon his retirement. He's reportedly paying $25 million for a MLS team license, while Orlando MLS operators paid $70 million.
Beckham hired a lobbyist in attempts to get funds from the state to help pay for the $3 million annual lease of the proposed 12 acre site at PortMiami, and stated he wouldn't seek any local funding. Both the Sun Life and AmericanAirlines Arenas receive $2 million a year from the state, and Beckham commented, “We want to be treated like every other franchise. We’re not asking for anything more or anything less.”
Beckham aide John Alschuler said that final details of the plans will be made public in a month, which might include a 1 million square foot commercial space connected to the stadium. Alschuler commented, “There may be a role, and I stress may be, for the team as the developer and builder of the public spaces. We are open to any process that creates a kind of public realm and unity of the site. Our goal is to create a stadium that is inside a great urban destination.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons