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Miami commission takes symbolic vote for David Beckam's MLS dream after rejecting stadium site


We want Major League Soccer in Miami, and we want David Beckham to own the franchise, Miami city commissioners said Thursday.

In a symbolic show of support for Beckham's group, the commission took a unanimous voice vote in favor of the resolution, which came two days after the city dismissed the investors' proposal to build a 20,000-seat stadium on Museum Park and the Florida East Coast Railway boat slip.

Commissioners didn't exactly disagree with that decision, taken by Mayor Tomás Regalado and City Manager Daniel Alfonso. Three out of five commissioners -- Frank Carollo, Marc Sarnoff and Francis Suarez -- said they had concerns about turning over the waterfront property for a stadium.

But Carollo and Suarez also chided the administration for not bringing the issue to a public discussion on the dais.

"In business negotiations, there's a way to do things and a way not to do things," Carollo said. The way the city handled the short-lived talks, he added "really could turn someone off."

Alfonso noted that he telephoned commissioners when Beckham's group floated an inital rent number of $500,000 a year. That number went up to $2 million Tuesday, but by then, Alfonso and Regalado had made up their minds in opposition.

Sarnoff, the district commissioner who was more involved, agreed. 

"They could have offered us the $15 million (in rent) and I still wasn't going to be supportive of a soccer stadium at that venue," he said.

He said he hoped Miami Beckham United would take a close look at city-owned property next to the Miami Marlins' ballpark in Little Havana. Carollo, who represents that area, was more cautious about targeting that site, even as he sponsored the pro-MLS resolution.

 "That does not mean that we're going to give away the land," he said.