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Miami-Dade commissioners: We might not support PortMiami soccer stadium site


Here's a lesson for investors looking to play ball -- any type of ball -- with Miami-Dade County: It's not enough to make nice with Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Thirteen county commissioners need to be persuaded, too. And on Tuesday, it looked like international football star David Beckham and his group, who are seeking a Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami, had not done enough to court them (at least, not yet).

The board wasn't scheduled to talk about soccer. Beckham's representatives are in early negotiations with Gimenez's administration, which has not yet recommended any site or stadium plan. Several other sites have also been under consideration.

But the port's debt came up. So did a plan to relocate a fuel-spill facility to make way for development -- a soccer stadium or otherwise -- on the port's southwest corner, which is too shallow for cruise and cargo ships.

Commissioners took the opportunity to warn Gimenez, who was not at the meeting, that he might be talking to Miami Beckham United about a port stadium when not enough board members would actually support the site.

"Sometimes you need to see the concerns to make sure you don't lose time or lose the possibility of building a good stadium just because you wanted to build it in a place with so many difficulties," said Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, a critic from the start about the port location.

In December, a unanimous commission eagerly supported the stadium talks, though a few on the board raised questions about the port even then.

Read more from Douglas Hanks here.