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David Beckham’s plans for a football stadium in Miami face opposition from an alliance of shipping interests and a billionaire car dealer.
The group, led by John Fox, former head of governmental affairs at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, includes two chapters of the International Longshoremen’s Association and two stevedore companies, whose workers load and unload ships. It also includes high-profile car dealer Norman Braman, the one-time owner of Philadelphia Eagles.
Former England and LA Galaxy star Beckham last month unveiled detailed plans for a 25,000-seat waterfront stadium on the island port with sweeping views of downtown Miami.
Development of the 14.5-hectare (36-acre) space would cost about $200 million and include shops, hotels and offices connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge.
But the Miami Seaport Alliance said in an advert placed in the Miami Herald: “We cannot jeopardise well-paying jobs, like crane operators, longshore workers, and mechanics, for low-paying stadium jobs, such as concession sales.”
Before yesterday’s advert, only Royal Caribbean, which is headquartered at the port, had come out publicly against Beckham’s plan.
The Seaport Alliance claims the football stadium development would threaten Miami’s plans to capitalise on the expansion of the Panama Canal.
Miami officials hope the port’s short distance from the Panama Canal, as well as $2 billion of planned infrastructure upgrades including cranes to unload the ships and a $1 billion tunnel connecting the port to major highways, will increase its appeal, The Guardian reported.
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