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Miami-Dade mayor gets OK for soccer stadium talks

@PatriciaMazzei

Giddy Miami-Dade County commissioners boosted international celebrity David Beckham’s bid Tuesday to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami.

In a unanimous vote after heaping praise on soccer as a sport and Beckham as an investor, commissioners gave the go-ahead for Mayor Carlos Gimenez to begin negotiations on a new privately funded soccer stadium.

“It gives a signal to Major League Soccer that we’re very interested in their coming here,” Gimenez said after the vote.

Or, as Commissioner Juan C. Zapata put it from the dais: “Go, soccer! Go, MLS!”

His colleagues — who knew so many loved soccer? — were equally bubbly. But some raised concerns about the behind-the-scenes proposal backed by Beckham’s investment group to build a stadium on county-owned land at PortMiami.

The group has identified the site, on the southwest corner of the seaport across from Bayside Marketplace, as its top choice. It is focusing on downtown Miami locations, citing MLS’ success in other cities drawing spectators to stadiums in urban centers near mass transit.

“We greatly appreciate the support shown by the Miami-Dade County Commission and look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Gimenez, the Commission and David Beckham on finalizing a plan for a new MLS stadium in Miami,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

More here.

Comments

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ed jenkins

The citizens do not want a penny of their money or their land given to this project. As this country does not follow the sport of soccer this project is even more foolish and if it is built and the land purchased entirely with private money the citizens will not mind as much. However with so little interest in this primitive sport it would be best to play it in some local high school football stadium which should be more than enough to hold the crowd.

Jonathan U

Primitive sport? Wow.

Anyway, the county has already said they won't be spending a dime in development. Dont speak for the citizens if you're too close minded to think about the Latino population and how soccer is embedded into it. We're here and actively watching soccer on TV. MLS is also the fastest growing league in the US. I've been waiting for this to happen. The stadium will be a great addition to whats planned for that area. Thank you Beckham!

Christopher G.

An outright gift or a sweetheart deal for County owned land is NOT a privately funded investment. Taxpayers own that land, so let's stop acting like we're not all helping these projects in some way. Considering we have one of the lowest amount of parkland space per capita in the country, when will our commissioners start considering expanding park space out of otherwise empty lots if necessary? I say, at the least, mitigate the impact with at least twice the land space for a public park elsewhere.

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