Plans to build a new soccer stadium in Miami have generated an argument this week between David Beckham, current city officials, and past city officials. The stadium, which will be home to a new Miami MLS team owned by ex-superstar Beckham, was originally proposed to occupy a site at PortMiami, with a design drawn up by Arquitectonica and 360 Architects. However, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez had concerns over the location, and earlier this month convinced Beckham and his group to consider an alternative location, a disused boat slip between the American Airlines Arena and Museum Park.
Now a group including former mayor Manny Diaz and Alexander Cooper, the masterplan designer for Museum Park have issued a statement condemning the new plans and saying they are "not in harmony with the vision of Miami as a world class city with parks and open areas available for all."
More on the row after the break
The new proposals would involve filling in the boat slip and building the stadium on the land created. Almost half of the stadium would encroach on land that is currently part of the Museum Park, however roughly half of the filled in slip would also be left open. This space would create a park spanning from the existing Museum Park through to the unused space behind American Airlines Arena, known as "Parcel B".
Under former mayor Diaz, a similar proposal for the Miami Marlins Baseball team's new stadium was rejected in 2000 thanks to a lengthy public consultation, and the Museum Park - home to the Frost museum of Science by Grimshaw Architects and the Perez Art Museum by Herzog & de Meuron - was designed to incorporate the boat slip as part of the waterfront.
The statement from Diaz and his supporters says "Allowing a private venture to take over the last remaining waterfront site in Downtown Miami for use as a stadium reduces quality open space, obstructs public views of the waterfront and disrupts waterfront recreational uses. It also radically changes the vision of a 21st Century premier public park that the citizens of Miami deserve."
In response to this objection, David Beckham's real-estate adviser John Alschuler responded with a scathing statement, saying: "It’s ironic that former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, whose Marlins Ballpark cost taxpayers more than $350 million without a single vote being cast, is now opposing a plan that expands Museum Park through private funding and a public vote.
"It’s disappointing that former Mayor Diaz and his supporters are choosing a disconnected waterfront over a continuous bay walk; a polluted, man-made mega yacht marina over more green space for the public; and a lifeless waterfront over an iconic soccer venue that draws residents and visitors to a downtown that they have worked so long to improve."
However, regardless of the argument, current city officials have made clear that approval for the new plan is subject to voter approval.
Story via Miami Herald