Soccer stadium referendum may be in November
At first the Beckham group did not want the public to vote on the issue as they felt it would delay the project, but Mayor Regalado insisted that if they want to be taken seriously by the city, they would need a referendum.
The mayor says he wants to regain the trust of the voters. I think the only way to gain trust again is to actually do what the majority of voters ask for. And the City needs to get out of the stadium business. So does the county.
It's possible that the City and the County will both have referendums in November. The same question, twice.
"We're still living with the ghost of the Marlins Stadium," said Mayor Regalado.
Hopefully voters will remember this at voting time.
There should be a substantial amount of money involved to benefit the City in order for the City of Miami to accept any plans, says the Mayor, but when has the city or county made any money from any of the stadiums or arenas? From a recent Miami Herald story: "Miami-Dade owns the AmericanAirlines Arena and pays the Heat about $6.5 million a year as an operating subsidy." This is to pay back a $240 million loan to Micky Arison, Heat owner.
From another Herald story: "The Miami Heat would begin paying rent at American Airlines Arena — but ultimately receive more than enough new subsidies to cover the new expense — under a deal Mayor Carlos Gimenez reached Friday that would keep the team in the county-owned facility at least through 2035."
And has the Marlins Stadium ever brought any money in? It barely draws fans and the retail that was supposed to be part of the stadium has never happened. This stadium was all built on lies.
It's still questionable how 6000 cars will find parking downtown since no parking is part of the soccer stadium plans. The Mayor says the city is working on a master plan for parking in downtown Miami. Garages next to the Arsht Center are planned and trolleys would take people around downtown from there.
Downtown developers are not happy about the bay being blocked. Future projects may be affected. The mayor admits that life in downtown Miami will be affected by the stadium. We don't think in a good way. How can two arenas side by side, blocking public water access be a good thing?
Voters recalled County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Commissioner Natacha Seijas over the Marlins Stadium mess. Maybe politicians should remember that now.
Anyway, I got to the Just Say NO to David Beckham protest too late on Sunday, but Al Crespo was there. Here's his slideshow from the event.
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