We officially have yet another proposed David Beckham stadium site on the table:
Miami’s top administrator this week met with David Beckham partner Jorge Mas about building a Major League Soccer stadium on the city-owned Melreese golf course, floating a 180-acre alternative near Miami International Airport as Mas is raising doubts about long-standing plans to build the stadium on nine acres in Overtown…
“I suggested that perhaps Melreese could be an interesting place to consider, given what it provides,” [Miami City Manager Emilio] González said. “They expressed an interest. We both agreed to continue a dialogue.”
City-owned golf course, eh? The Miami Herald article goes on to note that the golf course, which is run by a private operator, isn’t a revenue generator for the city — it breaks even, though of course that doesn’t account for the value of Miami residents getting to play golf. (We will for the moment suspend disbelief about playing golf having a value.) More important, though, is that if Miami is going to say “golf course, schmolf course” and lease out the land to a private developer, it really should come up with a price that matches what someone would pay to build something more lucrative on it, not a golf course — otherwise you risk getting into a mess like the one with the New York Islanders arena that could be getting a nine-figure discount courtesy of New York state taxpayers.
Herald sources said a public referendum on the plan could take place this August or November, which should be an interesting test of whether Miami voters have any stomach at all for stadium deals after the Marlins burned them so badly. Most important, though, is that this means we could see a Beckham MLS stadium decision postponed for the better part of this year, which keeps hope alive that it will go down in history as the most prominent vaporfranchise since the Baltimore Claws.