Beckham Miami Stadium Plan Draws Backlash From Group

Overtown MLS stadium

As David Beckham‘s group looks to complete land acquisition for its proposed Miami MLS stadium, a neighborhood group is expressing its grievances. 

After a prolonged effort to secure financing for the project, it was recently revealed that Beckham’s group was closer to acquiring the site. The three-acre site in Overtown is owned by Miami-Dade County, which is seeking to sell the property at market rate, a transaction that will require the approval of the county commission.

Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., the county will hold a public meeting on the proposal–the vote itself would likely not take place until next month. The Spring Garden Civic Association has previously expressed its issues with plans for the stadium, with one of its major points of contention being the lack of any major parking infrastructure as part of the project. Leaders of the association for the nearby neighborhood have also criticized the county’s timing in announcing Wednesday’s meeting, though both the county and Beckham’s group have sought to counter those claims. More from The Miami Herald:

“In an obvious attempt to steamroll the so-called soccer stadium through the Board of County Commissioners, the County is conducting a ‘public hearing’ with two days notice to approve David Beckham’s 25,000 seat concert venue in Spring Garden and Overtown,” reads the email from Ernest Martin, president of the association.

“The meeting has been publicly noticed. Residents were made aware,” said Michael Hernández, the county’s communications director. “If residents are unable to attend Wednesday evening’s meeting, they will have an opportunity to be heard when the sale of the property goes before the county commission for approval.”

Beckham Miami United, the formal name for the soccer star’s stadium partnership, issued a statement that read in part: “The public has been aware of our intent to purchase this County-owned land for more than a year, and we’ve been finalizing our club throughout that span…We look forward to hearing from residents of Overtown, Spring Garden and beyond on Wednesday evening.”

Spring Garden has been a top critic of Beckham’s plans for Overtown, arguing the stadium will flood the adjoining neighborhood with soccer fans driving to the games or seeking street parking.

Beckham’s group has spent years trying to finalize a stadium deal in Miami, setting its sights on a few locations in the city before settling on Overtown in late 2015. The group had also spent considerable time trying to secure financing for the project, and recently obtained Todd Boehly as a new partner. If the stadium deal does move forward, the team could launch in 2019.

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