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Downtown Boat Slip Becomes Frontrunner for MLS Stadium Site With Mayors' Support

Bye-bye, PortMiami stadium plans.
Bye-bye, PortMiami stadium plans.

So much for a soccer stadium at PortMiami. A plan to fill in a boat slip right next to AmericanAirlines Arena now appears to be the favorite among shareholders for Miami's Major League Soccer franchise.

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez joined forces today to officially recommend the site, and the proposed David Beckham-owned team seems to be on board.

Here's a statement from the Miami team:

"Miami Beckham United appreciates the vision and leadership that Mayors Gimenez and Regalado have demonstrated in identifying the best possible site for an MLS soccer venue. Both Mayors are in agreement that downtown Miami and soccer are a perfect match. Expanding Museum Park with the addition of the FEC slip and Parcel B will complete the vision of a continuous downtown waterfront anchored by world-class museums and a world-class soccer park. We look forward to working with the Mayors to make our case to their respective Commissions and the community over the coming months. Our collective goal is clear: Miami Beckham United will deliver a park and soccer venue that will make Miami proud."

The plan was originally suggested by Gimenez, and Beckham later replied that the idea would "be great."

Regalado's support is needed because the city controls the boat slip (which, obviously, would need to be filled in) and the county controls a plot of land behind AAA called "Parcel B," which would also be needed for the construction. With Regalado on board, it's now just a matter of courting support from the public and the city and county commissions.

The plan will head to Miami residents as a ballot referendum in November.

Some residents and office workers in downtown aren't quite enthusiastic about the idea. Apparently, people who bought property in a quickly expanding downtown urban hub are upset that, well, they live and work in a quickly expanding downtown urban hub.

"This will destroy the only small part of oceanfront park, a park which isn't even finished yet, and create an eyesore of another stadium beside the AA Arena," reads a petition that currently has just 350 signatures. "We the residents of the surrounding area would lose our view, and access to our building would be compromised by bringing 25,000 people's cars to the area. Traffic is already a huge challenge during concert and HEAT game events, and this would create tremendous gridlock."

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