In late 2013, soccer superstar David Beckham splashed onto the scene of Miami-Dade stadium politics when he announced his pitch for a $250 million stadium.
While politicians were intrigued by the idea of Beckham bringing major soccer to Miami, one of the main sites under consideration quickly drew fire: PortMiami.
Some county commissioners balked at the idea of transforming part of a major economic hub for the county into a soccer stadium. Opponents, led by Royal Caribbean Cruises, created the Miami Seaport Alliance and took out ads on television, radio and in newspapers arguing that a stadium threatens the port’s livelihood.
A full-page ad in the Miami Herald in April stated, "A soccer stadium is being proposed at PortMiami. The Miami Seaport Alliance opposes any development that threatens the 207,000 jobs and $27 billion economic impact tied to the cargo and cruise industries. All jobs are important for the future of Miami, but we cannot risk full-time, well-paying PortMiami jobs like crane operators, truckers and cargo loaders, for a few, part-time concession jobs like peanut sellers and ticket takers."
Beckham’s investors responded with their own full-page ad in the Herald, vowing that a soccer stadium would achieve the port’s goals of creating jobs and revenue.
At PolitiFact Florida, we are quite familiar with half truths about stadiums. It is a challenge to fact-check a prediction, but we decided to explore the evidence about whether a soccer stadium at the port would threaten the existing 207,000 jobs and $27 billion economic impact. Is the Alliance bending the truth about Beckham?
Read PolitiFact's findings.