The readers’ forum

Consider a P3 for soccer stadium


The arrival of David Beckham in Miami has incited a new kind of soccer fever in the city known to host soccer games with crowds of over 70,000. Most newsworthy right now is the talk of building a soccer stadium in Miami. Beckham and his team hope to purchase land from Miami-Dade County for his team’s new stadium.

The sale of a public asset, including a county-owned property, for a private operation is not a public-private partnership, also known as P3. Rather, a P3 requires that the private partner and public entity share in both the risks and benefits of the project. Accordingly, Beckham’s contemplated purchase of land from Miami-Dade County would not be a P3.

This is not surprising, however, as P3s are relatively new to Florida. In fact, the proposed stadium for our rival Sunshine State MLS team, the Orlando City Soccer Club, whose stadium will be built using tourist development tax funds and funds from the city of Orlando, will also not use a P3 structure.

However, with the right structure, a P3 could work very well for a soccer stadium. A properly designed P3 would allow both the team and the local government to leverage their expertise to create a true partnership that highlights the best that both partners have to offer. In general, a P3 for the building of a stadium works best when:

• The public entity’s main contribution is land and infrastructure, and the private entity’s primary contribution is financing and construction of the stadium, including maintenance and repairs, the two cost-intensive risks that draw the most ire from taxpayers, and

• The facility is also able to generate substantial sales, retail and development revenue that can be shared by the two partners.

Having a public partner in a stadium project can expand support in areas such as transportation, and facilitate inter- and intranational exchanges that can generate revenue for a stadium. Having a private partner in a stadium project will alleviate the costs and risks that the public bears and provide the opportunity to collaborate with highly skilled, high-profile professionals who can implement creative methods of attracting customers and growing business.

A P3 designed along these lines could create a win-win situation for both the team and the county, as compared with the more traditional model currently being contemplated. A P3 is not simply about dividing the pie, it can be used to bake a bigger pie, such as delivering a better product for both the partners and the community. The option of using a P3 for the construction of the new soccer stadium should not be ruled out.

Al Dotson, attorney, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Preliminary library tax rate must survive

    County commissioners praised the hundreds of residents who descended upon Government Center recently to plead for a $64 million library budget for the coming year. Commissioners settled on a less ambitious course, approving a slight increase above Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s recommended tax rate to avert further service cuts and layoffs of an additional 90 librarians.

  • A very liveable city

    Re the July 21 article Car-free and frustrated: I, too, live in Brickell and I have been delighted with the wonderful transportation system in downtown Miami. I can easily get to the University of Miami hospitals, the airport, the Arsht Center, the museums and hundreds of great restaurants. And when the new Brickell City Center opens, with its great shops, it will be even better. I almost never use my car.

  • Immigration reform

    Re the July 18 editorial, Follow the law: We should rescue some valid assertions. First, we all should know why so much insecurity exists in Central America.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category