Prominent Miami planners and architects have slammed David Beckham’s vision for a 20,000-seat waterfront football stadium
A raft of former Miami city officials has called on the municipal authority to reject the proposed Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture-designed arena.
In a statement opponents of the footballer’s plans said the waterfront plot should remain an open green space. An earlier stadium proposal for the same area in 2000 was dropped following a public backlash.
They said: ‘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.’
The statement published on the Miami Herald’s ‘Naked Politics’ blog continued: ‘This proposal should be rejected. It is not in harmony with the vision of Miami as a world class city with parks and open areas available for all, for generations to come. We must protect the legacy envisioned by the people of Miami.’
Signatories of the petition included Alexander Cooper, who masterplanned the Florida city’s Museum Park district where Beckham’s stadium is proposed. City zoning code author Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and the former planning director Ana Gelabert-Sánchez also signed the statement.
The salvo came shortly after Miami’s former mayor Manny Diaz condemned the proposal.
The star-footballer’s real estate adviser, John Alschuler said the former mayor’s opposition was ‘ironic’ because Diaz had himself approved a controversial stadium built partially using public funds.
He said: ‘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.’
He continued: ‘A new soccer park in downtown will appeal to Miami’s diverse community, bring the world’s greatest game to one of its greatest cities, and create jobs and opportunities for local businesses.’
Beckham’s venue would be home to the city’s proposed Miami MLS (major league soccer) team which is owned by the former Manchester United footballer.
New plans were unveiled on 22 May to construct the stadium on the city’s underused Florida East Coast railway slip within the city’s Museum Park district.
Earlier plans to build the venue on a five hectare Port of Miami site were revealed in March. The latest scheme is expected to create an extra 1.6 hectares of green space in Museum Park area.