Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Professional Soccer in Miami: The Beckham tide shifts to the boat slip … by gimleteye

In a strategic shift keeping alive the media storm, the Beckham soccer group is backing off from the Port of Miami site to the boat slip next to the Miami Heat Arena -- a development that has yielded practically no fiscal benefit to Miami-Dade taxpayers at all.

Now readers, we are to understand the new preferred location for a professional soccer stadium will not diminish in any way the spectacular investment in an art museum by one of the world's leading architects next door.

Blocking the view of voters is what Miami elected officials do best. Am I being too pedantic?

Just look at Pepe Diaz, the uncontested county commissioner from West Dade, who has an agenda item today at the county commission (Item 3B2) for two "confidential projects" called "Gemini" needing a few hundred thou for which there is no description because they are presumably "top secret". 
To boring or verbose? LOLZ.

The traffic cluster@#k resulting from the proposed stadium site is, apparently, of no concern to Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez who boosted the idea to Beckham to get powerful cruise ship executives off his back.

Nor is there any mention that the only way to fill the 25 acre parcel and compact it so the foundation will hold is to excavate more Everglades wetlands, then use the same roadway for thousands of truck hauler trips to haul limestone -- that will have to be thoroughly washed with fresh water -- to Biscayne Boulevard which was why we built a $900 million port tunnel in the first place.

At least the rock miners in West Dade and lawyers will be happy.


Anonymous said...

Good luck getting this past the army corps of engineers. Everyone needs to email them (Audrey.L.Siu@usace.army.mil) and expeess their displeasure about filling in the slip.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's better to let them keep digging or in this case filling. The mayor is clearly running out of ideas here. the longer he talks the more evident it is.

On WPBT's "Issues" last week after he ran out of his usual talking points he admitted traffic downtown is a bitch, there is virtually no infrastructure, public transportation, parking, or a plan to fix it this and people will "just deal with it like they always have". he opened saying the slip was even a better stadium site than the port, then later he said the port was a better choice using the new tunnel for cars to get on the port. (What happened to the parking downtown and walking over the bridge idea?)
He would like to fill the slip just on principle because he has no idea what to do with it.

He said he is a "great administrator" but the BCC keeps rejecting his budgets which is why we're in a hole now.

(The BCC rejects him because they said he's a one trick pony with his slash and burn budget model and they are tired of beating up the workers and the public to keep his grandiose plans afloat)

He ended the show with his "no new taxes" mantra

Wait, wasn't he all for a public vote on raising taxes last week?

I wish I had his remarks on a loop come referendum time.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at what Orlando is going through with their soccer stadium...doesn't the title say it all?

Orange County Commissioner Ted Edwards regrets new soccer stadium decision
By Greg Fox, News, Political Reporter, gfox@hearst.com
Published On: May 06 2014 06:30:59 PM EDT
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One Orange County Commissioner thinks Orlando and Orange County politicians were tricked by Major League Soccer officials into giving the league a new stadium.

"As Gomer Pyle would have said: 'Surprise! Surprise! Surprise," said Commissioner Fred Brummer.

Brummer said what others were thinking: No surprise that Major League Soccer was pushing a new stadium to award a franchise.

A stadium will soon be built on Church Street near Amway Center, but Commissioner Ted Edwards said he's learning other cities are getting many options for new or rebuilt stadiums to attract soccer teams.

Edwards said that he's never seen a study to prove a newly overhauled Citrus Bowl could not handle pro soccer.

"I think we were misled by Major League Soccer," Edwards said. "I think, [from] the body language I'm getting from other commissioners, I think they were told the same thing."

Commissioner Tiffany Moore-Russell suggested getting more information from Orlando about other options.

"Because it makes us look like we don't do our due diligence with our constituents," Moore-Russell said.

Commissioner Scott Boyd wondered why Edwards hadn't done his homework.

"I kind of gather my information from a lot of different sources too," Boyd said.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs pointed out that a combo football-soccer stadium like the one being built in Atlanta would cost over a billion dollars compared with $84 million for Orlando's stadium.

"I think it makes a lot of sense, dollar sense and common sense," Jacobs said.

The city said making the Citrus Bowl soccer-ready would have cost more than building a new stadium.

Edward concedes that with construction of the Citrus Bowl so far along, he thinks it's unrealistic for the city and the county to try and pressure Major League Soccer into revisiting construction of a new soccer stadium.

MLS officials released the following statement in response to Edwards:

"Major League Soccer has repeatedly stated the importance of creating intimate fan experiences. Atlanta's new $1.2 billion stadium (and) Orlando City's new $80 million downtown stadium accomplish, this goal."

Anonymous said...

In Philadelphia and New York, stadiums are built on industrial land, not the waterfront! Why would you waste waterfront on a stadium that has no view of the water? I'm getting really sick of paying such high property taxes to morons that steal elections and then make very bad decisions on my behalf. And the prospect of letting the public vote on this? Don't make me laugh. Seems we voted down a stadium for the Marlins and look how that ended up.

Anonymous said...

When I first heard about filling in this slip. My first thought was more rock mining at the edge of our Everglades. I see the lawyers & Cemex lining up now. I guess with the port finishing up, they need more stuff do build. The irony is Bell has an agenda item "urging" congress for Everglades funding. If Bell had a brain, she would not have approved rock mining on the edge of the Everglades to support her campaign supporters!

Maybe Barsht will update her wardrobe from that plaid stuff! Lime Green is the new summer color!

Anonymous said...

Filling in the boat slip is just a trial bird to see if the public bites.
The real site goal is Bicentennial park without which the stadium could not be placed.
At this point the politicians don't want to whisper the Bicentennial name.
I agree, letting the voters decide is a real bummer, just look back the last 15 Years at all levels.
How come voters don't get to decide breaking the law in other areas? (Carollo amendment),like choosing the speed limit as an example.

Anonymous said...

They should hold a referendum but the problem then becomes a battle for he AB ballots. Unfortunately, in Miami Dade county we do not have free & fair elections and the BCC won't fix the mess with laws like serving 1+ years in prison for collecting or soliciting Absentee ballots. Elections are bought and paid for down here. It's like when dictators, pick a country, win elections or referendums. Chrimea is a good example in our recent times. Law need to be enacted restricting the use of the absentee ballots but then those with the most money lose their insurance of re election or rigging a referendum which I guarantee will happen here. Every public survey will show negative but somehow it will pass.

Anonymous said...

This is about gambling Beckham worked for Adelson of the Sands and has the bug. the slip is part of the aquatic preserve and should not be filled in. The only good thing about this whole fiasco, it will be the ruin of Gimenez. Nkomo waterfront for the people,. What are the neighbors across the street saying? They bought for that slip view. GAMBLING I SAY. This is the camels nose under the tent.

rolmas said...

The hysteria on this comment board will drown out any hope of rational debate. I will say I feel the port is a better site, but am fine with the slip.

The Orlando article is completely useless to the debate. The City of Orlando is paying for the stadium, we are not. That creates all sorts of issues, and that commissioner is conveniently sounding off AFTER the fact.

The traffic concerns are completely unfounded. The majority of matches are at night, and they are now talking about decreasing the stadium capacity to 20k. Folks that is a Heat game. We are more than capable of absorbing the traffic.

Here is an idea. Why don't the suburban folks who cry about the traffic use Metrorail? While it isn't great we do have public transportation options and as a resident of downtown, I use it all the time.

What are we missing with all of this casino, traffic waterfront (that 98% of you never use) hysteria? This may be a move to secure more land to bring UM into the fold. The port makes the UM involvement close to impossible, but you could easily build a larger stadium which would absolutely encroach on Museum Park.

I would be against doubling the size of the stadium. But guess what? Lets just yell about anything and everything and let the UM possibility slide...

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the FEC slip is more like 7.5 acres rather than 25 acres unless perhaps you were referring to the slip and the adjacent Museum Park land.

Unfortunately, this is likely to go to a referendum unless the public, in particular the downtown residents, can persuade the City of Miami commission (Sarnoff) that this is a very bad idea. Beckham and company are in his office right now negotiating a deal. The public needs to convince Sarnoff and Gimenez (and the rest of the commissioners) that a vote for a waterfront stadium is political suicide. Call your City and County commissioners today. Stop this before it goes any further. This stadium should be built at the Marlins or Dolphins stadium, not our waterfront!

Anonymous said...

No, sir. Build a stadium where there is already a stadium. Out by the Dolphins or the Marlins. Stop the pandering!

Anonymous said...

Now is the time to stand up and be heard. June 14th is the date of the arrival of the Coast Guard's USS Eagle. The first tall ship to visit the park since the recent improvements. This is the beginning of what can be regularly programmed events for the FEC slip that would include sailing regattas (like the Volvo but even bigger, btw, Volvo is said to have paid in excess of $100K for use of the slip for their last visit), rowing/paddling/SUP regattas, triathalons, etc... The public needs to come down to the Museum Park and Parcel B (Arena Park) site and demonstrate that we want to save the last remaining waterfront we have.

Anonymous said...

1. 10-11 acres on Bicentennial Park might be worth $400 Mil? How much is Beckham paying?

2. It was announced that the proposed soccer stadium on Bicentennial Park would run north-south thoroughly blocking views of Biscayne Bay from Biscayne Blvd. When you add in parking you would need a 100' to a 150' tall stadium. Do the condo people know about this obstruction?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous above. Can you see Biscayne Bay through the pump station now? Must be cool to see through buildings.

Anonymous said...

You can see Biscayne Bay at the slip and along the newly landscaped promenade of the new Museum Park. The public will come back to the waterfront and then it will seem ludicrous to suggest that the slip be filled or a stadium take up four acres of Museum Park. By then Gimenez may be back in Europe for the summer and the whole fiasco will fizzle.Or not.

Anonymous said...

If the MLS and its supporters and the suburban soccer leagues and the soccer moms and dads really want a Beckham stadium, they should be urging Beckham and his "investors" to look a other more realistic sites. Spewing lies about how this plan will bring "more" parkland is ridiculous and they have lost all credibility. Also, it's against their own self-interest to get MLS soccer to Miami. Work on a realistic plan and you may get your wishes.

Anonymous said...

Who represents the public's interest in Miami anymore? It seems the whole town is run by lobbyists, developers and elected officials do whatever they want. Also, the media just parrots back whatever these folks say, whether it makes sense or not, whether there are laws against it, whether there is a history of land grabs and taxpayer abuses with stadiums and tax monies. "In the absence of any credible sources," any lie is a truth in Miami. How can we get our City back?

Anonymous said...

Buried in the Herald's (pandering) story, is the fact that the Beckham stadium will "take four acres of Museum Park." Since the Museum's already took public land, we were promised the rest of the land as public park. But now they are taking more.
And, by the way, that Parcel B, it is already public park land. So No, Mr. Mayor, we are not getting new park land, thank you very much. All these statements I must rate: "Pants on Fire."

Anonymous said...

A soccer stadium running north to south parallel to Biscayne Blvd. 20,000+ seats? 35,000+ seats? Where will customers park? All the vacant lots west of NE 2nd Avenue are scheduled for development. What a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Soccer stadium at FEC boat slip will go to voter referendum!!! August election...

Anonymous said...

Where is Genius? Really miss her. I'm sure she would have a few choice words on this.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why the parks department and city would clue a lobbyist group (MLS Soccer) into a location to build a stadium.

Anonymous said...

What is this "Gemini" project, why is it costing us $270,000 and what are these "targeted jobs"?

I cannot take this BCC any more. Next they'll just be pulling rabbits out of hats with OUR tax money!

Anonymous said...

I wish someone would just arrest Gimenez and get it over with. He is not only corrupt but lately very blatant about it. Where are the authorities. Wher is the State Attorney, Office of Inspector General?

Anonymous said...

There are two Miamis here. In my Miami I am struggling to pay my mortgage, insurance, property taxes, car, gas, food, health insurance, lights and gas. When I think about my hard earned tax money, I am thinking water, sewage, a decent transportation system, parks- and these kinds of things- in short basic services. Every year some billionaire hustler comes here asking for our tax money for their play pens. Why do we even have discussions with them when little people like me will never ever afford to even buy a ticket to these things. Why must I pay for it with my little money?

The other Miami has plenty of money and they throw it away on silly things.

Anonymous said...

Our county mayor repeats to the media that naysayers should not to focus on what still being decided, and then he goes full steam ahead with business deals that aren't legally his to finalize. Thanks to the Miami City Commissioners who defended the seaport being a seaport today.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez, you revel in bad ideas. Read the county charter before you start battles that aren't permitted by the county charter or are not even in the county's purview. Your strident ideology harms our county government by tearing it apart piece by piece. This will be your undoing.

Anonymous said...

It's true - taxpayers are so busy making a living they hardly pay attention to their local governments shenanigans. We expect so little - a public library, a little park, a road and bridge that doesn't fall apart, potable water and decent sewage system. If they deliver the basics, we give them a pass to misspend the rest of our money. But they can't even take care of the basics first before they go off and give our money away to out-of-town billionaires.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the Knight Foundation - giving away hundreds of thousands to help the arts and improve our quality of life in Miami, promoting parks and libraries, etc... but all their efforts are going down the drain with these elected officials, who apparently are persuaded to do the bidding of every lobbyist to the stars and development interests out there. Please Knight Foundation, better spend your money on lobbyists. It's the only way to get things done in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Soccer stadium running parallel to Biscayne south-north? What do all the condo tower residents think? 900 Biscayne? Ten Museum? Marina Blue? Marquis? None of those buildings have sufficient parking for their own residents. Vote No.