As he tries to bring soccer to PortMiami, David Beckham might have to outmaneuver a line-up of rivals from Miami to Shanghai wanting to build on the waterfront site.
Royal Caribbean Cruises announced this week its opposition to a port soccer stadium, citing traffic concerns and its own confidential plans to develop the 12 acres that Beckham and his investors want to lease.
And just weeks ago, port director Bill Johnson completed a swing through Asia to pitch PortMiami’s in-house plan for the entire 36-acre site, showing business leaders in Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai renderings for a sprawling commercial complex with hotels, apartments, offices and expo space — but no stadium.
“What we were doing was to literally start to garner interest globally,” in the site, Johnson said. “We were upfront. We said there was a recent interest expressed by David Beckham about a soccer stadium, and that would be addressed in the next six months.”
The growing attention on PortMiami’s southwest corner illustrates the challenge ahead for Beckham as he tries to strike a deal with Miami-Dade County to build a Major League Soccer stadium at the world’s busiest cruising port. Royal Caribbean, whose corporate headquarters overlaps with Beckham’s proposed stadium site, has been privately lobbying to thwart the soccer plan and recently went public with its position.