One of the worlds most beloved and famed soccer players, David Beckham has big plans for Miami. Like many Englishmen, he wants more time in the sun and to plant some roots in this vibrant city. His plan is to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami and wants the city to help build a new arena in PortMiami. But there are few problems.
First, the world’s busiest cruise port also houses the world’s 2nd biggest cruise company, Royal Carribean. They argue that added traffic would interfere with their cruise line operations and add to congestion in the Biscayne Bay area. Coincidentally, the world’s largest cruise line and Royal Carribean’s top competitors, Carnival Cruises is owned by Micky Arison, the owner of the Miami Heat.
The second problem is tax payer funding but if they built an arena for the Miami Marlins you’d have to think they’d grant David Beckham’s wishes. David Beckham isn’t taking any chances and has even hired a lobbyist to help convince the Florida legislature to help him fund the project.
Miami has no lack of celebrity athletes but Miami always has room for more. Just take a look down the road from where David Beckham wants to build a stadium – the two-time defending champions Miami Heat, which features a super-star trio of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Celebrity wise, David Beckham is on the same level as Lebron James, if you consider they both raked in $42 million in endorsement deals in 2013, according to Forbes magazine. There have already been rumors circulating on the internet that Lebron James could join the ownership group headed by David Beckham. Would Lebron James team up with another major athlete? He’s already done it before (Dwayne Wade) so who knows?
First off, Mr. Beckham has to convince Miami-Dade to lease them the ultra-valuable space. He envisions the new soccer stadium ushering in a new commercial district that could house new hotels, shops, and retail space. I say, give Mr. Beckham his stadium and let him bring another major league sports championship to Miami. After all, he’s shown that he is an astute business man; already having negotiated a Major League Soccer franchising fee of $25 million (other owners pay $70 million). Only time will tell it Miami can finally become the soccer town that everyone thinks it could be.