Awright! We have a full-fledged stadium controversy underway in Miami, which in daily news media terms is defined as one where there’s a corporate titan on each side:
John Alschuler, the New York-based real-estate adviser for David Beckham, the retired English player who wants to build a home for his new franchise at the seaport, squabbled on local television with John Fox, a former Royal Caribbean Cruises vice president who is leading the opposition against the waterfront site.
Royal Caribbean is currently the main landholder at the seaport, and Alschuler charged that the cruise ship company pays below-market rent for its port properties — though Beckham officials have also “pushed back against” estimates by a port consultant that fair-market rent on the property they want would be $3 million a year, according to the Miami Herald. The dispute between the two sides mostly comes down to whether both could happily coexist without getting in each other’s way, which led to the unusual sight of a would-be stadium developer promising that its building would be great because it would be empty 340 days a year.
As for actually paying for it, Beckham insists that, despite a price tag that is now up to $250 million
thanks to the need to raise it above flood levels, he’ll pay the costs himself. Except for the $2 million a year in state sales tax kickbacks
he wants, of course. And rent breaks, if that $3 million figure turns out to be accurate and Beckham wants to pay less. And a full exemption from paying property taxes
. Most of the total cost would probably still land on Beckham, but there’s enough fine print here that it’d be nice to see a full financing plan before passing judgment on what kind of deal this would be for Miami taxpayers, let alone cruise ship operators.