David Beckham's bid to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami is under threat after his plans for a waterfront stadium were rejected by officials.
The former England, Manchester United and Real Madrid star, has travelled to Miami frequently in recent months in an attempted to launch a Major League Soccer (MLS) club.
Beckham's business group, Beckham Miami United, issued a statement saying city officials had determined that the proposed stadium site was an "inappropriate location."
His plan was to build a 25,000-seater stadium in between the Miami Heat's American Airlines Arena and a park which is currently nearing completion, in a project which involved filling in a strip of water to use as the base for the stadium.
Beckham and his business partners will now have to return to the drawing board in the search for a plot. Beckham Miami United has said it will continue to pursue alternative locations.
"The slip is off the table," Miami mayor Tomas Regalado told the Miami Herald.
"Given the uniqueness of this site, we agreed that this was just not the right place."
The group has to finalise a stadium deal before it can get approval for a club from MLS, the US professional football league. This is not the first time Beckham's plans for a stadium have faced difficulties. A previous proposal for a waterfront stadium also experienced resistance from cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean Cruises and others had argued the stadium would interfere with port operations.
The plan for a stadium by the port was finally rejected by county mayor Carlos Jimenez and Regalado after protestors launched an aggressive advertising campaign, warning Miamians their city's skyline would be ruined by "out of towners".
Four years ago Beckham activated a clause that was written into his Los Angeles Galaxy contract which allowed him to set up an MLS franchise.
The 39-year-old chose Miami, the Florida city packed with football-mad Hispanics, as the host for his as yet unnamed franchise which it was hoped would enter the league in 2017.
Beckham's investment group, which includes entertainment impresario Simon Fuller and the Bolivian telecoms billionaire Marcelo Claure, had agreed to finance a $250million (£149m) stadium with seating for 25,000 and to pay rent for the stadium. The proposed sites for the build are all on public land.
Beckham Miami United said the location of the second site was originally suggested by the mayors of Miami and Miami-Dade County.
"Our package was the most equitable soccer stadium proposal that Miami, or any other city in America, has ever seen - 100 percent privately funded without any local taxpayers money," the statement said.Reuse content