- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Even though it is more expensive than other locations in the Miami area, David Beckham and his investment group say they are still considering building their new Major League Soccer stadium at PortMiami.

Experts told the Miami Herald (https://hrld.us/1jTQdFb ) on Friday that building at the port location would cost an extra $50 million because the stadium would have to be elevated from its ground-level flood zone.

But Beckham Advisor John Alschuler said that the location is desirable because of its closeness to the water and view of the downtown skyline.

He said the port location would sell professional soccer better in terms of sponsorships, advertising and luxury suites sold.

“Miami’s greatness is about the interaction of a vibrant culture and the water,” he said. “We will earn that $50 million back in increased revenue from the stadium.”

The group is also considering several other sites including one next to the Miami Marlins ballpark.

The investors are in discussions with the city to finalize a location for the planned $250 million, 25,000 seat stadium.

A lobbyist for the soccer franchise is seeking a state subsidy that acts like a sales-tax rebate that could amount to $40 million over 20 years.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration has not yet approved the port location. The mayor has said Beckham’s investors would have to pay “fair” rent to the county for the valuable property, which is too shallow to accommodate cargo or cruise ships.

Some county commissioners have said they aren’t sure of the plan. Opponents of the port location have said they are concerned about it creating traffic problems.

But Beckham has said that the games will mostly be held on Saturday evenings and would not conflict with port cargo or passenger operations.

Gimenez said discussions about the stadium’s location are ongoing.

“We’re not there yet,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald. “But one way or another, we need to move on with this.”

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