Stadiums don’t revitalize neighborhoods, and an MLS stadium in Little Havana would be no exception

No, David Beckham’s new stadium won’t revitalize Little Havana

Miami New Times 10/23/15

“The next stadium that has a significant impact on revitalizing a neighborhood will be the first one,” says Neil deMause, author of Field of Schemes, a book about how stadium deals cheat taxpayers…

The city and county would give Becks and his partners permission to build their park on their land, and Beckham’s group would pay for all construction costs. The county would then transfer ownership of the land to the school board, which would have some sort of partnership to use the facility, possibly for high school games and big events. That piece alone could save the school board around $1 million a year in rental fees, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told the board yesterday. Beckham would also pay about $800,000 a year in usage fees to the county.

The catch, of course, is that Beckham would get out of paying property taxes under the deal. How much would that take out of the county’s coffers? There’s no exact estimate yet, county spokesperson Michael Hernandez tells New Times. But the Marlins parking garages cost about $2 million annually in county taxes; Beckham’s adjacent land looks to be about two or three times bigger, so it’s probably a fair guess he’d be saving upwards of $6 million a year.

That’s not insignificant, and there’s a fair argument to be had over whether the benefits outweigh that cost. But let’s be dead clear about the benefits. Because they most certainly won’t include a “renaissance” for the community around the ballpark.

 

 

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