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Miami says it's 'far apart' in early MLS stadium talks

@PatriciaMazzei

For months, David Beckham’s Major League Soccer venture has said it will pay some sort of annual rent — “fair,” “market” or “reasonable” — to build a stadium on prime public land.

Yet the number Beckham representatives have floated in early talks with the city of Miami is so low that the city manager has, at least for now, called for the two sides to “take a breather.”

That figure: $500,000 a year, according to the city.

Miami says it has not countered with a figure of its own, but it’s far higher than $500,000 — as high as $12 million to $14 million, City Manager Daniel Alfonso said Monday.

“We’re just too far apart,” he told the Miami Herald.

Alfonso had initially asked city consultants to take a look at how a potential deal with Miami Beckham United might work financially, if the investors filled a deep-water water basin known as the Florida East Coast Railway slip to build a 20,000-seat stadium.

On Monday, the manager said he’s called off that request, at least for now. Alfonso said he doesn’t want Miami to spend money studying the possibility until the city gets a better sense of how much Beckham’s group is willing to offer.

John Alschuler, Beckham’s real-estate adviser who is leading the discussions with the government, declined to comment Monday on the discussions. He said in a wide-ranging interview last week that the venture is committed to negotiating with the city in private.

“We’ve said we’ll make a fair payment,” he said at the time, without denying the figure. “We have a range of what we think we’re able to pay.”

More here.

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