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City mayors join opposition to Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami, alliance says

@PatriciaMazzei

The mayors of 11 Miami-Dade County cities have signed on to a letter in opposition to David Beckham's proposal to put a Major League Soccer stadium on waterfront seaport property, according to the leading detractor to the plan.

The Miami Seaport Alliance has asked elected mayors and vice mayors to add their names to the list of critics who say a PortMiami stadium would risk jobs, security and cruise and cargo operations. Among those who have said yes, the alliance says, are the mayors of Homestead, Coral Gables and North Miami Beach.

"We believe united, we can help quash this terrible idea of a stadium at PortMiami, a maritime industrial port and a major economic driver of our community," Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall wrote in a letter to the mayors on behalf of the Seaport Alliance.

MacDougall, who is running for Congress as a Republican in South Miami-Dade, carried out a similar effort last year against the Miami Dolphins' short-lived push for a stadium renovation partly funded by tax dollars.

Unlike with the Dolphins, the debate over soccer doesn't center on local dollars. Beckham's group is seeking a state subsidy but says it will pay for stadium construction privately.

This time, the debate is over the best use of the port's southwest corner, which is too shallow to accommodate cruise or cargo ships. The port had planned to develop it into a major office and commercial complex, but that has faced resistance from downtown Miami interests that argue development on county-owned port land would unfairly compete with the mainland.

Beckham's group is still negotiating with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez's administration over the potential port site. Representatives of the retired English soccer player, and the mayor himself, have said it's premature to support or oppose the idea without any specifics in place.

The two sides will debate the port site Wednesday at an event hosted by the Downtown Bay Forum.

Here's the list of elected officials who have signed on, according to the alliance (the list the group provided didn't actually include all these signatures, with a majority listed as supporting "via email"):

Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason (plus city commission)
Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall
Golden Beach Mayor Glenn Singer
Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter
Homestead Vice-Mayor Stephen Shelley
Key Biscayne Mayor Frank Caplan
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (plus city commission)
North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo
Palmetto Bay Mayor Shelley Stanczyk
Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner
Pinecrest Vice-Mayor Joe Corradino
South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard
Surfside Mayor Daniel Dietch

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