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Beckham’s Miami stadium plan hits stormy waters

Published on May 4, 2014 6:13 AM
This photo taken on Feb 5, 2014 shows former football star David Beckham during a press conference at the Perez Art Museum in Miami, Florida. David Beckham's plans to build a state-of-the-art stadium on the city's waterfront are facing difficulties, as Miami Seaport Alliance, a group of maritime companies, and residents are allying to reject the project, fearing it will worsen traffic and affect tourism to nearby Miami Beach. -- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (Reuters) – David Beckham’s dream of building a futuristic waterfront stadium in Miami that would house his own professional football team has turned into a “not in my backyard” clash, pitting the retired English superstar against one of the world’s top cruise lines.

Royal Caribbean Cruises is at the forefront of efforts to block Beckham’s plans to build a 25,000 seat open-air stadium next to the port of Miami.

The cruise line is spearheading a group called the Miami Seaport Alliance, which has paid for full-page newspaper ads and TV and radio spots opposing Beckham’s plans. The alliance says a stadium would threaten the 200,000 jobs generated by the port, which is owned and operated by Miami-Dade County.

The port, built on a landfill island close to downtown, calls itself the “cruise capital of the world,” handling more than 4 million passengers in 2013. Formally known as PortMiami, it is also a large cargo container facility.

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